You chose your forever home as the place you planned to live for the rest of your life. Lately, though, you’ve considered making a change. It could be that as you’ve gotten older, an illness or injury has begun to limit your ability to live independently. You may not want to live in the house shared with a spouse after they’ve died.
Or perhaps you’re concerned about parents or grandparents continuing to live in their own homes. They just don’t seem to be able to keep up with the housekeeping and maintenance like they used to, and their tri-level home seems more difficult for them to manage.
To live long-term in a private home, seniors may need to make updates to the home. Moving the master bedroom and laundry to the main floor can help avoid using dangerous stairs. Replacing a tub with a walk-in shower or walk-in tub can help them bathe more safely. Staying in a private home may also require hiring a caregiver, lawn care service, or housekeeper.
There may come a time to sell your home, or the residence of your elderly loved one and move into a senior living community or facility. If so, you’ll be like 10% of seniors who transition from aging in place.
5 signs it’s time to move into a senior living facility
- Deteriorating physical or mental health. Seniors may move to a residential facility when a chronic medical condition gets worse, or they suffer an injury. Falls are a common injury: our balance and eyesight change as we age and we often don’t think about making our homes safer until after we fall. We don’t recover from illness or injury as quickly or easily as we did when we were younger. Mental health can change as we age. As we age, we experience so-called senior moments with forgetfulness. Perhaps you’ve noticed that an elderly loved one is showing signs of dementia, such as becoming agitated later in the day (sundowning), getting lost and wandering, or becoming violent and aggressive.
- Inability to manage finances. There are late notices in the mail and the bank account is overdrawn. Large sums of money are missing from the checking account but you’re not sure why. Most people don’t enjoy managing personal finances, but when the task becomes so overwhelming that bills don’t get paid and money is mismanaged, it might be time to move into a residence where all of that is taken care of for the senior.
- Difficulty with housekeeping and maintenance. It’s one thing to leave dirty dishes in the sink and quite another to leave plates of partially eaten food stacked around the sofa and bed for weeks on end. Pet messes don’t get cleaned up. Laundry isn’t done because the laundry room is in the basement. A leaky pipe goes unfixed, and the bathroom begins to mildew. Often seniors who can no longer keep up with house cleaning and home maintenance end up living in unsafe conditions.
- Loss of a caregiver. Many seniors have loved ones or close friends who frequently check in with them and assist with their needs. But when a caregiver moves away, becomes ill, or dies, the senior may no longer be able to manage in their own home. They may forget medication, stop preparing healthy meals, or let their hygiene slip.
- Loneliness. After the death of a spouse or close friends, depression may occur. Adults are more likely to move away from their parents and are hundreds or thousands of miles away from their senior relatives. As our mobility changes, we may not get out as much and social isolation becomes an issue. A lonely elder may want to move out of the long-time home to live closer to more of their peers.
Senior living options
There are a wide variety of senior living options, depending on the level of independence and health. ConsumerAffairs.com lists several options for senior living, listed here based on the senior’s level of independence and health.
Home sharing involves providing a place to live for a roommate in exchange for assistance with housekeeping or payment of rent. This can help the senior reduce costs and age in place longer.
Moving abroad is a trend in senior living for people who want to reduce costs in their senior years. Things to consider include rules about Medicare Part A coverage and citizenship status, which can affect Social Security benefits. Before moving abroad, seniors often sell their homes in the United States.
Co-housing can be for seniors only or general co-housing. Co-housing may act like a homeowner’s association, with residents living in individual homes but sharing yards and community buildings. The arrangement brings a sense of community to seniors who are healthy enough to live on their own. A senior would sell their existing residence before moving to a co-housing community.
Age-restricted communities often limit residents to those 50 or 55 and older. Housing could be single-family homes, condos, or apartments. Residents might own or rent their homes and pay a homeowner’s association fee that covers outdoor maintenance and community amenities. These communities are for seniors who want to age in place. Seniors typically sell their existing residence before buying or renting in these senior-only communities.
Assisted living communities are for seniors and people with disabilities who need help with daily tasks such as cooking, bathing, and transportation but don’t yet require a lot of medical care. Residences are typically private or semi-private rooms with shared dining and community facilities. Meals, housekeeping, and activities are often included. Seniors typically sell their homes before moving into assisted living.
Nursing homes are the next step beyond assisted living facilities. These residences are for people who need more medical care. Residents are supervised 24/7, and their medication is managed by staff.
Continuing-care retirement communities offer several types of housing that seniors can transition to as their need for care increases. A senior might start in an apartment, then move to assisted living, and finally to a nursing home all within the same community.
A memory care facility is typically part of a nursing home for seniors who have dementia but could be a separate facility. The staff-to-resident ratio is higher and there are more security features. The need for these types of facilities is expected to rise dramatically as the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s continues to increase to an expected 13.8 million by 2050.
Hospice is often thought of as a facility, but it is instead a type of care for people who are terminally ill. Hospice care can be provided for in the senior’s home, a family member’s home, or a nursing home. Seniors who go into hospice care have decided not to fight their disease or illness and instead opt for pain management.
Deciding which option is the best for your senior often happens over time as the senior’s health or quality of life changes. When they can no longer take care of their own home, or would rather spend their time doing something other than home maintenance and housekeeping, selling their home may be necessary to finance their next residence.
When it is time to sell your house and move to an assisted living facility, we can help make the transition faster and easier. We will buy your house as-is for cash. No open houses. No repairs. And unlike a traditional real estate transaction, we will buy your house without charging commissions. You can close in under 30 days and be in your new home in no time.
Give us a call at 994-SELL.