Senior Housing Options Explained

Senior housing can be a sensitive issue for many, but unfortunately, it can sometimes be the only option. Often, people don’t have the time to care for their elderly parents or grandparents and it can be especially difficult for sufferers of dementia or Alzheimer’s who need full-time care. Before making that decision, make sure you have a good understanding of what this involves. But don’t just send them to the first place you come across. Finding the right place can take a lot of thought.

Sending an elderly person to senior housing is a hard decision and needs a structured plan. On top of that, you should be aware that there are many options available, options that are very different from the stereotypes many people have about them.

Firstly, before looking at the options, you should also be completely sure that they are ready to be sent away.

These are the key signs to look out for:

They often have accidents.

  • Do they often slip over or fall when they are alone?
  • When this happens is there anyone who can take care of them?

They are unable to buy essential necessities.

  • Do they often neglect to care for themselves and find it difficult to go grocery shopping, for example?
  • Maybe you are often required to do most of it or all of it for them?

They don’t remember to take their medication.

  • They may also forget other vital things like – paying their bills
  • Or, more seriously, have trouble remembering faces and where they are.

Their home is becoming increasingly hazardous and unclean.

  • They are unable to deal with the upkeep which is increasing the risk of an accident or maybe even a fire.
  • Uncleanliness can also increase the chances of illness.

Consult a doctor or physician before making a conclusion. They will have a better understanding of what kind of care your elderly relative will need and may pick up on things you haven’t thrashed out.

Deciding that it is time

When you have finally concluded that your elderly relative may need to be put into senior care, you will, of course, need to let them know.

This requires a lot of sensitivity and should be thought out before being announced. Before you start shortlisting your available options, you need to list what your elderly relative will require.

On top of that, don’t feel afraid to discuss the issue with them. Perhaps they have a few ideas themselves. They may have given this a thought and have some ideas of where they would like to live.

What are the options to consider?

Single level housing

This can be useful in two ways – firstly, as you probably know, many elderly persons have trouble walking and using the staircase. Secondly, this can come in the form of a bungalow and can give some elderly persons the privacy they desire.


By this, we mean any large facility or organization that cares for the elderly. While the care may be very useful to some elderly persons, others may not need it, or if they do need it, may strongly dislike it and resist.

This might have a range of options that might be unsuitable.


How far away are you willing to be from them? An hour? A day?

If they live in a far-flung area that they do not want to leave, options may be a lot more limited


Your loved one may require partial help, daily care or full-time care.

There are a number of facilities that are orientated towards certain physical and mental health issues, if your loved one has a condition, it would be a good idea to see if there are case-specific options to explore.

Different types of senior housing

The different types of housing for seniors vary significantly, not just in the kind of care they provide, but also the way in which they approach elderly persons. While some of the terms used to define facilities may sound similar, they come with significant differences.

Retirement homes

This is perhaps one of the most well-known options for senior housing and is ideal for those who are still able to handle everyday chores themselves. Most retirement facilities are apartment buildings.

Nursing homes

Do not confuse this with the above, nursing homes are specifically for those who need round- the- clock care and monitoring. They are often cared for by nurses and/or physical therapists.

Assisted living facilities

These facilities are a step further than nursing homes and are ideal for those who need help with everyday tasks, such as getting in and out of bed, eating, and bathing, for example. They provide a varying range of independence to seniors.

Licensed dementia or Alzheimer’s facilities

These are facilities that are custom-designed for elderly persons with dementia or other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. Not all of the facilities listed here will offer this service and you should ensure that the facility of your choice is licensed to provide this service.

Care for them at home

If it is too difficult for you to send your loved one away, perhaps it is best to care for them at home. This can be very difficult for some, especially for those with children and a full-time job, however, there are services, such as in-home personal care assistants, who can provide the care for you.

Day centers

Non-residential facilities that cater specifically for elderly persons. These facilities can pick up elderly persons, provide them with meals and provide them with any other care they may need. Ideal for seniors who do not want to move out and may also work well with the option above.

Options are increasing

While the above options some of the most commonly found senior housing choices, the ever-growing senior community has led to a rise in the number of alternatives offering a combination of care, independence, and activities according to their needs.


Remember to carefully weigh your options once before reaching a decision. What might work for some elderly people might not work for another, people have different needs according to their health and mental well-being.

Don’t allow yourself to be overcome with stress, you need to put a plan in place and stick to it. And on a final note, make sure you visit the facility yourself before committing to send your elderly relative there to ensure it is suitable for them.

Disclaimer: Our service is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as financial advice. We help our readers make informed decisions via impartial information and guides. Where appropriate, we may introduce partner companies who can provide services relating to financial products.