Housing Options

The Basics of Housing Options

for seniors and boomers needing or anticipating
the need for some level of support

 Fundamentally, housing options include the following:

General Questions to Consider

If considering the housing options covered here, ask yourself these general questions:

  • What kind of lifestyle do I want?
  • What will my living conditions be like?
  • How important is my choice of location?
  • How close would I like to be to family and friends, doctors, pharmacies, other medical facilities, shopping, senior centers, religious facilities, and other amenities?
  • Does my current health status require that I look for features that will help me move about more comfortably?
  • How much will the housing option cost?
  • What, if any, in-home support services will I receive for my money?
  • Am I eligible for any publicly-funded or subsidized services, such as Medicare or Medicaid?
  • What in-home support services are available now, and in the future, to meet my health and social needs?
  • Have I involved family members and friends in my decision-making, as appropriate?
  • What role will others have in making these decisions?
  • Would it be advisable for me to talk with an attorney so that I understand my rights and any legal concerns?

Whatever the housing decision, the best choice is the one that ensures that the older adult’s health, social and financial needs are met, and that the older adult’s legal rights are protected.

Understand the Terminology

The terms for senior housing options, real estate, mortgages and other financial instruments, working with movers, etc, can be confusing.  It is likely that you simply are not familiar with much of the language and “industry lingo” that you will be exposed to.  Also, in many cases, no standard “vocabulary” exists and terms are used interchangably1

You  want to visit the Glossaries and Frequently Used Terms section of this site and print any of the glossaries needed. 


1An example is the term “assisted living.” There is no standard definition for this term.  In some states, where assisted living is not licensed or regulated, the term may be used very loosely. Facilities in these states may not provide the services generally associated with assisted living.  In other states, the term is used to describe a specific type of housing option.  If you are investigating housing options, make sure you confirm all features and services offered by a provider.

Caregivers Handbook

This handy guide provides resources, checklists and worksheets
 - all in one place.