Typically, senior housing consists of apartments, condominiums and cottages where admission may be limited to those over 55 years of age and which are specially designed to accommodate the needs and preferences of older adults. While they provide a secure, residential environment, they do not provide the type of extensive health care associated with nursing homes or assisted living.
Senior housing offers privacy and independent living in buildings that are safe and well-maintained. Many are architecturally designed to address some of the physical limitations that growing older may bring. For example, bathrooms may be equipped with handrails and grab bars or electrical outlets placed within easier reach. Many are equipped with 24-hour emergency call systems.
Services Available — The housing component includes apartments or homes, either as “stand alone” separate facilities or as part of a retirement community.
Many senior housing facilities also offer or can arrange for a variety of supportive services such as meals, transportation, social activities, counseling, recreational programs, daily visits or telephone reassurances.
Payment — Monthly rents vary depending on the size of the housing unit, the services offered and the income group the building is designed to serve. Government subsidies allow some housing facilities to offer lower rents to those who qualify based on income level.
Information regarding the location and criteria for low-income housing options designed for seniors may be obtained from the Housing and Urban Development offices in Oklahoma City.
Factors to Consider
- Is the facility located close to family, doctors, pharmacy, grocery, other stores, churches and public transportation?
- Entrance fees and/or monthly rent; other charges for services or meals?
- Does the facility provide or arrange for supportive social and health services?
- Does the facility offer transportation services or coordinate such services for residents?
- What type of floor plan (i.e. separate bedroom or studio) does the facility offer? Is it or can it be adapted as residents “age in place”?
- What (if any) furnishings are provided? Is there storage available for personal belongings?
- Kitchen, kitchenettes or congregate dining?
- What is the facility’s policy regarding guest stays (overnight or extended)?
- What are the facility’s policies when a higher level of care is needed?