Senior Apartments - What to Look For

Senior Apartments - What to Look For

Maintaining independence for Mom or Dad may be as easy as moving them into a house with you and your family or finding them a senior apartment.

Apartments are common options for the elderly who can still live fairly independently or with minimal help in daily living activities but that are incapable of taking care of large homes and properties any longer.

What to look for when it comes to properties and amenities as well as how to consider whether options are good or not when it comes to senior housing will help seniors and their loved ones make safe and beneficial decisions regarding senior housing options.

What Is a Senior Apartment?

A senior apartment can be a room over a garage or a basement of an adult child's home or it may be an apartment found in a senior complex. These type apartments are also commonly called in-law or "granny apartments" located on the property of adult children. Separate apartments come in all types of shapes, sizes and living environments, including mobile homes, basements, tool shed conversions to modular homes.

senior apartments

An apartment is any type of apartment or self-contained living unit designed for an independent elderly resident. However, most apartments are offered as group residences and may be subsidized for low-income residents. An apartment offered by a family member or community senior housing options set up and run by charitable organizations may be available in a number of locations in your area.

The most common benefit of an senior citizen apartment is the ability to maintain independence and privacy without the need to take care of a yard or home. Senior apartments may or may not include amenities such as light housekeeping, transportation, meals and laundry services.

One of the downsides of apartments subsidized by local governments is their long waiting lists. In many cases, these waiting lists can be several years into the future. Another downside to subsidized apartments is that many of them are located in poorer areas of town and may not be very well maintained because of lack of government or public funds. Still, if you know where and how to look, you may find the perfect apartment for Mom or Dad.

Your decision to move your elderly parents into an apartment should be based on current needs as well as short-term foreseeable needs. Apartments help maintain an independent living style and are not designed for seniors who need help with medications, daily lifestyle activities such as bathing or grooming, or those who exclusively rely on others to prepare their meals such as a senior assisted living facility.

What to Look For

When looking for a senior citizen apartment for your loved one, take into consideration the features or benefits of one senior housing location or situation over another. For example:

  • Is the apartment complex within easy traveling distance to medical facilities or doctor's offices?
  • Is the apartment located within walking distance to public transportation services?
  • Can Mom or Dad walked to church or to the grocery store without having to call a taxi?
  • Can Mom or Dad keep a small pet?
  • Does the apartment complex have amenities such as a fitness room, a swimming pool or Jacuzzi, or a tennis court or game room that will provide stimulation, activity and the opportunity to socialize with others within the senior environment?
  • Is the property secured or patrolled, especially in higher crime areas?

Apartments are beneficial to seniors looking to downsize or eliminate tiresome chores when taking care of a large home or property. Seniors need social activity and stimulation as well as convenience, but take care when choosing a senior apartment location to meet the current as well as potential future needs of your loved one.

One of the best ways to judge an appropriate apartment is not just to rely on internet photographs and descriptions but also to visit the location yourself.

Visit the location during different times of the day and week and determine noise levels, amenities, and walk distances yourself to gauge whether the location is suitable for an elderly parent. Take your time when looking for a senior apartment and make sure that the environment is one with which your parent feels completely comfortable, safe, and secure.

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