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How to Find Affordable Senior Housing Alternatives

4 minute read

By Heather Fishel

Senior housing is in high demand. As increasingly more seniors make changes in their living arrangements and seek out assisted living, nursing homes, and even senior apartments, demand is only increasing. And so are prices – an independent senior community can cost as much as $4,000 per month while assisted living can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $10,500 per month. For most aging adults, these costs are just too high. But there are other options. You can find affordable senior living arrangements if you search online.

Finding senior housing isn’t easy, and trying to secure lower-cost senior housing is even more challenging. However, if you know how to find alternative housing options, you’ll be able to find a place that’s less expensive and able to meet your needs. Start your search online to find affordable senior housing alternatives.

Here are a few steps you can take to find more affordable housing if you’re age 65 or older. 

Look for Nontraditional Housing

There are three options you likely think of when you think about senior housing: senior living communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

While these are some of the most common places aging adults live during their golden years, they aren’t the only options available. There are other “nontraditional”, or less well-known, senior housing choices. 

Consider opting for one of the following nontraditional housing styles, and it could help you save money.

Virtual Retirement Communities

If you’re a senior who doesn’t need day-to-day care but instead needs a bit of help with housekeeping, errands, and other chores, a virtual retirement community could be just what you need. It allows you to continue living in your very own home, but you’ll enjoy the perks of a more traditional senior housing community.

A virtual retirement community brings together local resources and community outright to provide seniors with more accessibility. These communities can provide transportation for seniors, help with grocery shopping, handle yard work, and even organize group outings for local seniors. And this type of arrangement can cost just $400 annually.

Adult Family Homes

Adult family homes allow seniors to move into a residence with other seniors, sharing living spaces and common areas while also receiving support and assistance from the owners of the home. An adult family home is typically licensed by the state and houses anywhere from two to 10 seniors. 

The benefits of an adult family home include varying levels of care for seniors who may – or may not – be independent and personalized, one-on-one attention. These homes are also typically modified with safety features, like grab bars, emergency call buttons, and wheelchair-friendly designs, so seniors of all abilities can live comfortably. 

Move in With Your Kids

Seniors who have adult children may want to consider moving in with one of their kids. This situation can be beneficial for both – it can give parents and children the ability to spend time together and meet both individuals’ needs. More independent and able seniors can help babysit their grandchildren, and older adults can benefit from having help plus reduced expenses. It also combats loneliness, one of the biggest concerns for aging seniors.

However, moving in with your kids can also be challenging. It can alter family dynamics, and it’s important to set boundaries and guidelines before the move happens. 

Apply for Good Samaritan Senior Housing

If you want to live in traditional senior housing but can’t afford the high prices, you can try a financial assistance program. The Good Samaritan Society, a religious organization, provides religious housing to seniors who have financial need. It’s a form of both income-based housing and financial assistance.

Good Samaritan senior apartments let seniors live independently, but there are additional care and housing options available if needed. Depending on what’s necessary, seniors can get access to services like home care, transportation, and even meals. The organization can help place older adults in everything from HUD-subsidized housing to low-income housing to rural development communities.

Adults age 50 and older can apply to live in Good Samaritan senior apartments across the U.S., and they’ll get the opportunity to live with other seniors in rent-controlled apartments.  You don’t have to be religious or a member of the Lutheran church to qualify, but you do have to show proof of your income.

Consider Medicaid

If you or your loved one needs more care, Medicaid can be a potential option for affordable senior housing. Medicaid can cover some of the expenses and costs associated with assisted living, residential care homes, and even nursing homes as part of its long-term care services coverage.

In order to get Medicaid’s assistance for senior housing, you’ll need to be eligible and apply for Medicaid in your state. While eligibility varies from state to state, federal guidelines require individuals who have low incomes or medical care expenses that exceed their income to be covered (in most cases). Check with your local Medicaid office to see if you might qualify for its financial assistance for senior living options.

Search Online to Find More Affordable Senior Housing Options

Senior housing costs can be far too high for seniors to afford on their own. But a fixed income and limited savings don’t mean you have to give up or go into debt. With alternative, affordable options like those mentioned above, you can find a housing choice that works for you and your budget. 

To find affordable senior housing options, search online. It’s the best place to start your search and to do appropriate research. And it’s the only way to discover programs that could offer financial assistance and reduce your costs. 


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