Dear Searching: There’s a wide array of housing options available to seniors, but what’s appropriate for your mom will depend on her needs and financial situation. Here’s a rundown of the different levels of senior housing and some resources to help you search.
To locate this type of housing, contact your Area Agency on Aging (call 800-677-1116 to get your local number), or use online services such as newlifestyles.com and caring.com. Most of these communities are private-pay only, and run anywhere from $1,000 to over $4,000 per month.
If that’s too expensive, another option is “senior apartments,” which are often subsidized by HUD for lower-income seniors. You can locate these through your local housing authority or online at hud.gov — click on “Find Rental Assistance.”
Another similar, but less expensive, option to look into is board and care homes. These offer many of the same services as assisted living facilities but in a much smaller home setting.
Your Area Aging Agency is again a good resource for finding these facilities, as are the previously listed senior housing locater websites. And for help choosing a facility, the Assisted Living Federation of America offers an excellent guide at alfa.org/checklist.
Consider hiring an aging life care expert ( aginglifecare.org) who can evaluate your mom’s situation, and find appropriate housing for a fee — usually between $300-$800. Or, you can use a senior-care advising service like A Place for Mom ( aplaceformom.com, 866-344-8005) for free. (They get paid from the senior living facilities in their network.)
Some other helpful resources include the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information ( longtermcare.gov), and your State Health Insurance Assistance Program ( shiptalk.org), which provides free counseling.