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Living with Low Vision: Senior Housing


Seniors with low vision, especially if they have other health problems, may want to think about long-term living arrangements that offer assistance. Some of the options are listed below. When planning for the future, consider the possibility that vision loss may progress. Take into account the current and future levels of care that may be needed, as well as location and budget constraints. Although the cost will fluctuate depending on real estate market trends, location and the level of services or amenities, long-term care is expensive. The entire financial situation needs to be carefully evaluated to determine available resources.

On this page, you will find the following:

Types of Housing

  • Independent Living or Retirement Communities are for seniors who are generally healthy and able to care for themselves. They offer housing with recreational, educational and social activities geared specifically to older people. Meals, housekeeping, transportation and planned activities may also be available. Different communities can have a wide variety of amenities, including golf, tennis, pools and fitness centers. The average cost of these communities ranges from $1300-2500/month, depending on the size of housing, location, services and amenities. Most communities accept only private methods of payment, but there may be some subsidies for low-income individuals.

  • Assisted Living Facilities offer private apartments with in-house care and social activities for older people. They can offer a home-like setting, 24-hour staff coverage, housekeeping and meal assistance, therapeutic activities and in-house medical services if needed. Depending on the size and location of housing and the level of care, the cost of assisted living facilities can range from $1,000-6,000/month, with a national average of $2,500-3,000/month.

  • Life Care Communities or Continuing Care Retirement Communities require a lifetime commitment. They begin as independent living facilities, but offer continued care to residents as they age and their needs change. The person must be able to live independently at first and can then be transferred from an apartment to an affiliated nursing home. Normally, there is an entrance fee of between $20,000-400,000, as well as monthly maintenance fees ranging from $400-2,500.

  • Nursing Homes or Skilled Nursing Facilities offer long-term 24-hour care. They provide rooms, meals, supervised activities and necessary therapy to residents. Nursing homes must be licensed by the state and certified by Medicare and Medicaid, thus they are subject to strict standards, inspections and evaluations. Medicare does not cover long-term care, so private funds and insurance must cover the cost. Eligibility for Medicaid payment varies from state to state, but is available for those with low income and limited assets, or when resources are exhausted. The average cost of a nursing home falls between $3,000-6,000/month.

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Senior Housing

  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities
    Offers advice on finding an accredited rehabilitation facility.

  • Helpguide.org
    “Senior Housing and Care” section of website provides information on long-term care and housing options.

  • seniorDECISION.com
    Offers a list of home healthcare and senior housing options by state and area with consumer ratings and reviews.


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Last Review: 08/23/13

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