When elderly people can no longer stay in their homes, there are several different housing options available to them, depending on the level of support needed and most often, financial resources. The Healthy Aging Program at Atlantic Health System connects seniors with resources that can provide detailed information about facilities, their costs and their services. The different types of senior housing include:
- Affordable or subsidized housing
- – usually consists of rental apartments offered to seniors or the disabled who meet income guidelines and limits; does not offer any external medical services, however, some sites may offer group meals or housekeeping services for an additional fee.
- Assisted living facilities
- – offer a blend of housing, personal care assistance and socialization opportunities all in one location. They have staff available 24 hours a day and provide a range of personal care services, such as assistance with medication, bathing, grooming, dressing and other daily activities. Some have specialized dementia-care units that offer additional services for those with cognitive impairments. Some offer private or shared apartments, along with three meals per day and social activities. Most facilities require 18-24 months’ worth of private payment before accepting Medicaid, if they choose to accept Medicaid as payment. There is usually a fee for personal care services.
- Continuing care retirement communities
- – provide independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing services all in one location or campus. They are required to provide a continuum of care to meet the needs of the residents as they age. There is generally an entrance fee that guarantees housing and services at the community, as well as monthly service fees depending on additional services selected, such as housekeeping, meals or home health care services.
- Retirement communities
- – these communities are specifically designed for active, independent older people. The average age requirement is 55 years or older. Types of available housing include houses, condominiums or apartments. Adult retirement communities typically provide social and recreational activities with no or very limited personal care services available.
- Skilled nursing facilities or long-term care facilities
- – provide 24-hour medical care under the supervision of licensed nurses. Medical services include physical and occupational therapy, wound care, management of chronic conditions, and rehabilitation. Medical care for those with severe cognitive impairments, assistance with staying safe and managing illnesses, recreational activities, spiritual and social services, and personal care services are also typically offered.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Facility:
Physical and medical needs
Consider the level of assistance needed now and possibly in the future. Consider potential need for more assistance due to worsening medical conditions or cognitive impairment.
Social and safety needs
Consider the social network available, such as family, friends or neighbors, and how much assistance they can realistically provide. Is this adequate support to ensure the individual’s safety and well-being in less supervised settings?
Consider assets available to pay for care and what payment sources the facility accepts. If Medicaid is needed in the future, is this an accepted payment source at the facility?
The Healthy Aging Program at Atlantic Health System suggests the following helpful resources to help seniors find information on housing options:
- About Assisted Living
Written by a group of medical professionals, About Assisted Living is meant to serve as a resource for anyone looking for information on placing themselves or a loved-one into an assisted living or elder care facility.
- Aging & Disability Resource Connection of New Jersey (ADRC)
ADRC is New Jersey’s doorway to information and assistance for seniors, adults with physical disabilities, caregivers and professionals looking for services and programs.
- Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA)
- Atlantic Rehabilitation
Offers inpatient, subacute and outpatient services to individuals coping with medical issues, including stroke, major multiple trauma, neurological disorders, amputation, orthopedic injuries, spinal cord injuries, wounds, polyarthritis and hip fractures.
- Federal Trade Commission – Reverse Mortgages
The FTC provides information for consumers about reverse mortgages, including how reverse mortgages work and the different types available.
- Health Care Association of New Jersey (HCANJ)
- Housing Authority of the Town of Morristown
- Medicare Nursing Home Compare
- Morris County Housing Authority
- Morris View Healthcare Center
- National Association of Senior Move Managers
NASMM members are experienced professionals who specialize in helping older adults and their families with the process of downsizing and moving to a new residence.
- New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
This state agency dedicated to increasing the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent and affordable housing.
- Newton Housing Authority
- Preakness Healthcare
Passaic County’s Preakness Healthcare provides subacute rehabilitation, long-term care, specialized behavioral management and ventilator care in a skilled nursing setting.
- Runnells Specialized Hospital of Union County
Union County’s Runnells provides subacute rehabilitation, specialized behavioral health services and long-term care in a skilled nursing setting.
Berkeley Heights, NJ
SeniorHabitat’s mission is to improve the quality of life of older adults by helping seniors and caregivers find the right “home”. SeniorHabitat is a free service that allows seniors and caregivers to find an appropriate senior residence, see tour availability in real-time, and instantly book an appointment for a tour via SeniorHabitat.org.
- State of New Jersey – Division of Health Facilities Evaluation and Licensing
- Summit Housing Authority
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Geriatric Assessment Center
David and Joan Powell Center for Healthy Aging
Morristown Medical Center Outpatient Medicine
435 South Street
Morristown, NJ 07960
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