February 17, 2011
Seniors today have many living options, among them communities that are designed specifically for older adults. And yet, the majority of Americans still say they want to age in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes, even if they need a little extra help.
Q. I'm an active and social 70-year-old widow and have been thinking about selling my home and looking for an alternative living option. I've heard about age-restricted living communities. What are they and would they be a good option for me? Could my grandchildren visit?
If you enjoy an active social life, an age-restricted retirement community may be just the ticket for you. Usually the minimum age restriction for at least one occupant is 55 years but, depending on the community, the minimum can also be 60 or 62.
These types of communities often cater to active and healthy individuals like you and may offer transportation, social activities and on-site services such as meals, banking and exercise facilities. Age-restricted retirement communities that are privately owned may require monthly rental fees with varying lease terms, security deposits and rental agreements. Don't confuse this type of option with senior-only apartments, which are frequently subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and only accept low-income seniors.
Many times, an age-restricted community will have rules for who can visit and how long they can stay. Usually young visitors are allowed for short-term visits of 30 days or less, but you should ask about any association guidelines or local laws that might apply.
Such communities are becoming a popular option, but they're not your only choice. To find out more about other types of housing that might be available to you, log on to www.senioroutlook.com for a variety of alternatives that could include independent as well as assisted living.
More and more, seniors also are choosing to stay at home. If it's companionship and social activity that you're looking for, why not join local senior clubs and activities. Your local church or senior center should have a listing of what's available. There also are advantages to senior companionship through a service like Home Instead Senior Care.
Home Instead CAREGivers, who are screened, bonded and insured, can accompany you to social events as well as provide assistance around your home with meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands and shopping.
Whatever option you select should help you maintain your busy, active lifestyle.
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