There are a number of senior housing options available to senior citizens, understanding the differences between them is instrumental in choosing which is the best fit for you or your loved one. The differences come down to many areas such as healthcare, cost, services, and amenities. Exploring all the housing options that are available to you is instrumental for planning effectively for retirement and senior living.
Some of the options that are available to senior citizens looking to move into a living community include rental communities, ownership-style living and continuing care retirement communities. Looking at the pros and cons that come with each of these options and comparing them with the needs of your loved ones is the proper way to choose which type of residence works best. Doing your due diligence is important when making a decision as big as this.
Renting Senior Communities
Rental communities is the most popular option in the country and is normally the least expensive option, however, there is still generally a lease that needs to be signed along with a security deposit or community fee that must be paid.
Normally, rental communities offer independent living and have assisted living facilities nearby or on the premises for residents who need more attentive care. Depending on the facility and costs, some renter communities come with higher levels of care for no extra cost.
One of the benefits of renting is that there is no large upfront fee, which are normally associated with ownership properties and CRCCs.
There are a variety of amenities that are built into a renter resident’s monthly payment. Specifics amenities depend on the facility, however, some of these services include meals, maintenance, transportation, and house cleaning.
Ownership-Style Senior Community
As the name suggests, compared to renter senior communities, ownership and equity-style communities are when residents purchase their unit and retain full ownership privileges. Ownership has been, and will likely continue to be, a very popular option among senior citizens. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), from the peak of the housing bubble in 2006 to the present, the rate of home ownership for people 65 and up has held steady at about 80 percent, the number jumps to 90 percent for married couples.
Ownership-style communities will offer nearly the same amenities and benefits that come with rental communities, but the costs will likely be different.
While rental communities and ownership communities are very similar, there are a few differences that people searching for their next residence should be aware of. For instance, owning a home or apartment obviously comes with some financial benefits in resale value, but some argue that this benefit is less important later in life. However, if a resident requires a higher level of care, assisted living can help but for an additional cost, whereas for rental communities it is generally included in the cost.
Also, following a resident’s departure, there will be monthly fees that must still be paid until the condo is resold. This may pose a financial issue with surviving family members until the residence is sold.
Continuing Care Retirement Community
According to the AARP, CRCCs are considered part independent living, part assisted living, and part skilled nursing home. They come with single-family homes, apartments, or condominiums.
“These communities give older adults the option to live in one location for the duration of their life, with much of their future care already figured out. This can provide a great level of comfort to both your parents and you and take much of the stress out of the caregiving relationship,” says AARP.
Generally speaking, CCRCs are considered to be one of the more expensive options and are marketed mainly toward seniors with higher income. A majority of CCRCs require an entry fee and an additional monthly service fee. Fees are used for improvement programs and healthcare services among other things.
Like to most senior communities and retirement centers, CRCCs will feature things like community clubhouses, event spaces, fitness centers and housekeeping services. However, CRCCs will often feature a higher level of amenities and services than other independent living communities.
Similarly, CRCCs will likely offer choices of larger residential living units and more communal spaces. Other features include gourmet chefs, spas, barber shops and more. These amenities can still be found in some renter and ownership-style communities but you are more likely to see them in CRCCs as they are more costly.
How to Choose
With all the options available, it may be hard to choose which one best suits you or your loved one. One method to go about the choosing process is to make a pros and cons list for each option and examine how each of these options can help or hurt you or loved one as the next chapter of their lives start.
Be sure to assess you or your loved ones financial and medical situation before the final decision. Meeting with financial and housing advisers can be beneficial when making the decision.
Having an aging parent or relative living alone can be a dangerous, especially if there aren’t health professionals on call. With an assisted living facility, seniors can receive the care they need while socializing with other senior citizens and engaging in fun, new activities. There’s nothing more important than keeping your loved one safe and happy, you can do this by guiding them along as they choose how they want to live in the next chapter of their life. If you’re ready, have the conversation with your loved one about how senior living can impact their life and discuss the options that they can choose from.