One housing option for elders is Government Subsidized Senior Housing – also referred to as the Supportive Housing for the Elderly program is run by HUD, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This type of housing can be a very good deal for elderly folks who are eligible for it. Most units are studio or one bedroom apartments complete with a small kitchen and bathroom. Most of the buildings have features that cater to the elderly, such as no skid floors, elevators, railings, wide doorways, ramps, and grab bars in appropriate areas. Another nice feature of this particular housing option is that there is generally transportation, shopping and laundry services available. Meals may also be available for your elder as well. This housing option includes residences from high rise complexes to smaller one floor structures as well. As noted above, most are located near shopping and public transportation.
As I mentioned, in order to be able to partake in this housing option, your elder will need to be eligible. Eligibility requirements include having the ability to get out of bed, dress, bathe, and generally take care of themselves. Bedridden folks are not eligible. Another requirement has to do with income. Each candidate must be at least 62 years old and have an income that is at least 1/2 of the median income in their local area. Typical residents are an average of 72 years of age with an annual income of less than $10,000.
If your elder qualifies, you may be wondering what the pros and cons of such a living arrangement are. The biggest plus of course is the lower rent. And you elder will have plenty of privacy if they want it. One of the downsides as I mentioned earlier is that this type of housing arrangement is not equipped to support those that are frail. If your elder is in this type of housing and becomes frail, they will be required to move out, which is a major negative as they will be leaving friends behind. Another downside to this option is that here is normally a long waiting list in most areas. The average vacant unit has as many as nine applicants waiting for it on a national basis. This figure could be higher or lower depending on where your elder lives, but as a general rule, there will be some sort of a wait. Another downside is that often times, the buildings are not very well maintained.
When all is said and done, this option could be a godsend for you and your elder if your elder qualifies. If money is an issue, this option will certainly go a long way to easing concerns.