Sunday, December 25, 2011

Finding A Low Income Or Subsidized Assisted Living Apartment For Mom Or Dad

When Your Parents Need A Low Income Assisted Living Apartment

It is hard enough making the decision to transition mom or dad into a new apartment or into an Assisted Living facility when they want to stay where they are. But it is even more difficult to have to downsize parents when mom or dad has run out of funds and needs subsidized housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers seniors designated housing arrangements which are considered low income. How much rent the senior pays is determined by their current income and financial history.

What Is Senior Congregate Housing ?

In this category of subsidized housing (low income), are apartments in which seniors live independently in what is termed "Congregate housing" where mom or dad (or couple) has their own apartment but may share activities or meals and other services such as weekly house-keeping and transportation to doctor appointments. etc. In most subsidized housing complexes, seniors are offered studio(one room with an efficiency kitchen) or small one bedroom apartments. And in fact one bedrooms are often saved for couples. It's hard to think of a parent in "one" room but remember, most senior complexes have plenty of "living" space outside the room and want to encourage seniors to mingle and not stay isolated.

Adding Assisted Living Servi
ces To Senior Housing

Some Congregate Housing complexes also provide another level of care called Assisted Living. where clinical staff is generally contracted from an outside agency to provide nursing, social services and physical therapy services. Each complex varies on their staffing schedules and amount of services available. These nursing services are generally covered under entitlement programs.

Many Low Income Assisted Living Facilities Will Surprise You With Excellent Options

I have visited many low income senior housing complexes. Some are called "Low Income Assisted Living" and some are termed "Subsidized Congregate Housing " (with Assisted living options). To my surprise some of these facilities have as many bells and whistles as the "expensive" private Assisted Living facilities. For example, some senior subsidized residences I have toured had in- house cafes, grocery marts, beauty salon/barber shops, computer rooms, exercise rooms etc. in addition to recreation rooms, dining rooms and other standard programs which you will find for this age group.

Low Income Senior Housing Does Not Mean Substandard

The bottom line is that "low income" DOES NOT necessarily mean sub standard. In many communities housing authorities and local agencies together have managed to offer seniors some very comfortable and well managed options. And I might add, that a pretty lobby or carpeted halls does not mean "better". It is important to visit many places and evaluate your options. By the way, you might want to tour some of the private Assisted Living facilities to see how similar some of the low income places really are to the "fancy" ones.

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Photos courtesy of Tickled Pink Antiques in Seymour, CT

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists

1 comment:

  1. Dianne, thank you so much for this post. My mom's not quite at that point yet, but I want to be ready and informed once the time comes so as not to be forced to make a quick and poorly informed decision. This was a huge help.