Senior Housing Options – Understanding The Choices For Aging Loved Ones

If you have an aging parent, grandparent, or other relative, you may be wondering what their options are for living as they age. In this article, we’ll discuss all of the different living arrangements for older adults, and the pros and cons of each. Let’s begin.

Aging At Home

Aging at home is often the best choice for older adults. It allows them to preserve their autonomy and individual freedom.

Potential costs of this method include the expense of at-home care, as well as adding safety equipment such as non-slip carpet, bathroom and shower bars, stairlifts, and other such equipment that can ensure a safe living environment.


Preserves freedom and autonomy

Low cost

Ensures familiar surroundings


May be expensive to fit home with safety equipment

Less safe, particularly for those who live alone

Home maintenance is challenging

Moving In With Family Members

Moving in with a family member can be a good idea for an aging adult, especially if they have a good relationship.

Like aging in place, costs of this method include updating a home to ensure safety equipment is in place for an older relative.


Very inexpensive

May be safer than letting an aging loved one live alone

Peace of mind, knowing a family member is delivering care


Can take a toll on family caregivers

Added stress can harm family dynamic

May restrict freedom of family members

Senior Living Communities

Senior living communities are apartments, homes, or condominiums designed specifically for seniors, with features like safe walk-in showers, elevators, and regular checks by senior living community staff.

Senior living communities may be more expensive than alternative housing arrangements, but are still quite affordable.


Built specifically for seniors

Helps preserve a sense of community

Safer for individuals living alone


On-site medical care may not be available

Somewhat less independence

No diversity in age

Assisted Living

Assisted living is different than a nursing home. Assisted living facilities are for older adults without significant medical needs, so they have fewer nursing staff, but are less expensive.


Designed for senior safety and health

On-site medical care usually available

Assistance with basic tasks (bathing, dressing, food, taking medication)


24/7 care not always available

Not ideal for people with serious health needs

Still more expensive than at-home care or aging in place

Long Term Care (Nursing Homes) 

Nursing homes offer skilled medical care 24/7, and are ideal for older adults with serious physical or cognitive disabilities. They are comfortable and safe for seniors, but also very expensive, given the nature of care delivered.


Best for disabled individuals

24/7 care and attention from skilled staff

On-site medical care


Very expensive

Not all nursing homes are high-quality

Restricts freedom and independence of loved one

Find The Option That’s Right For You And Your Loved Ones!

In most cases, it’s best to consult a loved one about their preferences when making the decision about where they should age. 90% of seniors would prefer to age in place, or live with family members – rather than move to a retirement community, assisted living facility, or nursing home.

So think about the pros and cons for each method, and you’re sure to find the one that’s right for your family.