Wisdom in Senior Living Choices
Retirement is being redefined by the “baby boomer” generation. From independent living communities with over 55 age restrictions to full service nursing centers, many choices are available.
When considering which type of community is right for you or a loved one, use this list to think about which features fit their needs and personality.
- Proximity to family: Often children and grandchildren are an important part of a person’s elder years. Being close enough to experience the extended family is a huge factor in choosing a location.
- Continuing Education: Today’s seniors are actively learning and colleges recognize adult’s desire to expand knowledge. In Houston, education opportunities are found at Leisure Learning Unlimited, Academy for Lifelong Learning, Clear Lake Association of Senior Programs and several others.
- Airports: Retirement years are for travel for many people.
- Arts & Cultural Activities: Rich, satisfying entertainment close to home is important to many seniors.
- Recreation & Outdoor Activities: Many seniors expand their golf or tennis hobbies as part of their slower years. Hobbies and new outdoor activities abound in Houston.
- Medical Facilities: Let’s face it, being close to doctors and hospitals is critical to most aging seniors. Consider the ease of access to such services.
- Job Opportunities: More than 10% of people in retirement age continue to work. The population of working seniors is growing in both full and part time jobs. Sometimes it is because the senior really wants to stay active. Other times, it is the result of longer life expectancy, lower pension plans and rising health-care expenses.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Not all work pays in money. Keeping busy helping others is a nourishing way to spend elder years. Learn who welcomes the help of seniors if this fits your lifestyle choice.
Age Restricted Communities
55 plus communities allow seniors to live independently while having a rich and rewarding “empty nest” life experience within a typical neighborhood. Many include a country club lifestyle with almost unending group activities, classes, dedicated fitness facilities and pools plus other features. This type of home is generally single family patio homes or duplexes. Both urban and suburban locations offer this new type of community. There are 296 active adult communities in Texas.
Assisted Living and Nursing Homes
In Texas, assisted living facilities are defined as housing with 4 or more persons receiving food, shelter and other personal services to people unrelated to the owner of the establishment. The monthly fee generally covers room, utilities, meals, activities, housekeeping, emergency assistance and facility maintenance.
This type of housing is available in four Types. With Type A facilities, residents require minimal assistance. Types B, C and E are designed for those who need more help with daily living. These institutions are regulated by the Texas Department of Human Services and standards outlined in DADS.
Nursing homes offer intensive, long-term medical care with severe physical or mental illness. They assist residents with basic living activities like bathing, eating, dressing, meals and housekeeping in a fully-staffed, monitored environment.