Senior Housing Options

Here are brief descriptions of senior housing options available, A critical first step for your advocate is to meet with Your Senior and Family to discuss Your Senior’s needs and determine the right choice for your family.



Also Known As:

  • Retirement Communities
  • Retirement Villages
  • 55 + Communities
  • Independent Living Communities
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities

These communities are primarily for seniors who live independently, have few medical problems and basically take care of themselves. Residents often are still driving and shopping for themselves, although some facilities offer community transportation to nearby malls and events. The communities typically offer studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments or even homes and may or may not offer dining services. Often, residents can choose to pay for a specified number of meals per day. Frequently, there are numerous social outings and events to choose from for entertainment. Most independent living communities do not offer medical care, although Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) typically offers independent living, assisted living, Memory Care and Nursing Home care — hence the name, Continuing Care communities.   Financing:

  • Most are private pay
  • Some offer government subsidized rents and some that are mostly private pay offer some portion of units as subsidized
  • $1,500-$3,500 per month rents
  • Some CCRCs require a buy-in in which you pay a fee, which can be quite large, sometimes more than a million, to live in a the community throughout the rest of life,  with the CCRC providing whatever level of care you need.until until death.

Little Known Fact: Although Aging In Place has become the popular concept in senior living, one of the often unmentioned benefits of living in an independent living community is that as you age and decline, your friends in the community often help you continue living independently by volunteering to help you. You seldom get that living alone.


Also Known As:

  • Board and Care Homes
  • Group Homes
  • Adult Care Homes

Residential care homes are private homes that typically serve residents who live together and receive 24/7 care from certified caregivers These homes are often owner managed which means care is often more personal. These homes are often preferred by seniors who want a more private, home-like community. State regulations vary state to state. Some limit size, i.e. number of beds allowed. Others limit services that can be provided.They typically offer the same services as Assisted Living facilities. Amenities and services vary greatly between homes. Your Advocate can inform you about the available activities and most importantly the culture of the home and its care practices.     Financing:

  • Most are Private Pay
  • Some accept Medicaid
  • VA benefits can often pay a portion of the fees:
  • $1500-$5000 per month depending on location, the services and level of care provided

Little known fact: Residential care homes are often owned and/or operated by immigrants who are culturally disposed to caring for seniors. Dominant nationality types vary by city. For example, Filipinos and Romanians run many care homes in Phoenix. Dominican and Haitian immigrants are often owner/managers in South Florida residential care homes.


Nursing homes provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care for seniors who require 24/ care with nursing staff.  the frail elderly who require a high level of medical care and assistance. Most residents are referred by hospitals and, unlike other forms of longer term care, Medicare will pay for some nursing home care. However after a specific amount of time in nursing homes, usually 180 days, Medicare no longer shoulders the cost and residents are often referred to Assisted living facilities with 24/7 care but not necessarily provided and directed by licensed nurses.  Long-term care Nursing Home residents generally have complex medical conditions requiring skilled nursing care. After Medicare runs out, these costs are born by families or Medicaid if criteria is met.  This is the most expensive form of residential long term care. Also Known As:

  • Convalescent Care
  • Nursing Center
  • Skilled Nursing
  • Long Term Care Facility

Financing Payment Sources:

  • Private Pay
  • Medicare for up to 180 days
  • Medicaid
  • Price Range: $4,000-$8,000 per month

Little known fact: Even though private pay Nursing Home care is the most expensive form of residential long term care, it is still far less expensive than full-time Home Care which can run about $10,000-$12,000 a month


Assisted Living communities are designed for seniors who are no longer able to live on their own safely but do not require the high level of care provided in a nursing home. Typically they provide the following services:

  • Medication management
  • Activities of daily living, including personal hygiene, dressing, showering, toileting, etc.
  • Three meals a day ’in a central dining area
  • Housekeeping
  • Security
  • 24/7 care

Residents live in private apartments or rooms typically with no kitchens. The apartments are usually one bedroom and a bathroom.   The definition of Assisted Living varies state to state. Some use the term to mean larger facilities with many rooms and apartments, with licensed nursing staff periodically on duty, along with certified caregiver staff.  Some states use the term to describe Residential Care Homes which typically have 24/7 caregiver staff, but nurses or doctors available on an on-call basis. Regulatory requirements vary from state to state.   Financing:

  • Most are private pay
  • Most take Long term care insurance
  • Some take Medicaid
  • VA benefits can apply:
  • $2,500-$6,000 per month depending on the size of apartment, location, level of assistance required, state where located
  • Alzheimer’s care ranges from $2,800-$6,500 for a shared suite

Little known fact: The average age of people entering assisted living homes has risen sharply in recent years to about 83 years old, and the average stay is about 2 years. And with the 80+ population the fastest growing segment of American society and an increasing shortage of caregivers,  the cost of assisted living is sure to rise.


Memory Care or Alzheimer’s Care are provided primarily in assisted living style facilities, with heightened security and caregiving staff trained in the challenges of caring for the cognitively impaired. Because of the greater training required and the more structured environment necessary,  Memory Care often costs more than Assisted Living or Residential Care homes Typically, the services offered include:

  • Medication management
  • Activities of daily living, including personal hygiene, dressing, showering, toileting, etc.
  • Three meals a day ’in a central dining area
  • Housekeeping
  • Security

Memory Care facilities typically are locked facilities to prevent wandering. Additional staff training includes care for residents who experience Sundowners syndrome and exhibit aggressive behavior. Different facilities address various levels of required Memory Care and your Advocate will be able to direct you to the facilities that best meet Your Senior’s needs. Financing:

  • Private Pay
  • Medicaid support is available for families that meet Medicaid criteria
  • VA benefits may apply
  • $3,000-$7,000 per month

Little known fact: Doctors estimate that more than 80 percent of people over 80 have some form of dementia, and residents with the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s and Dementia may do very well in Assisted Living or Residential Care Homes. Still, Alzheimer’s and Dementia are progressive diseases and Your Advocate will help you assess whether the “mix” of residents of homes or facilities you are considering is right for Your Senior.


Home care supports Aging in Place by providing caregivers to visit Your Senior’s Home on a scheduled or as needed basis.Usually, home care involves providing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) such as transportation, paying bills, making appointments and providing companionship and emotional support. Home care agencies typically conduct background checks on its caregivers and ensure that licensure requirements have been met. .. Financing:

  • Private pay’
  • Medicare/Medicaid via certified home health agencies
  • $17-$40 per hour

Little known fact:  Home Health Care is the most expensive form of full-time care because it involves a caregiver to be in your home 24 hours a day.  But used sparingly, Home Health care can be a cost effective means to stay in your own home.


Respite care enables residents to take short stays in Assisted Living or Residential Care Homes to give family caregivers a needed break from their on-going responsibilities.Respite stays typically last from a  week to a month. Sometimes these visits let Your Senior become familiar with and comfortable with a particular home or facility.  Respite programs are available for assisted living and Alzheimer’s residents. Adult Day Care Programs also offer respite care but only on a daily, non residential basis.. Financing:

  • Private Pay
  • Medicaid
  • VA Benefits
  • Price Range: $75-$150 per day

Need Help Finding Senior Housing ?

Assisted Living
Residential Care Home
Memory Care/Alzheimers
Independent Living