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Is It Time For Senior Housing or In Home Care?

It's a difficult but sensitive decision to make when considering senior care, and one that should be made with the elderly person's input as well as discussion amongst family members. We can't give you an answer, but we hope this provides some clarity.

Things That Indicate it is Time for Senior Housing

The Three Signs to Watch For:

An Accident: One of the primary things that caregivers see is usually difficulty getting around in the house, a fall, but there are other functions that elderly individuals may no longer be able to perform on their own. Because you visit your loved ones only once a week, you might not notice these issues.

Loneliness: Your parent is at home all by themselves the entire day. They have no one to converse with and nothing they can or want to accomplish, listening to the TV or radio is difficult for them too, and crafts are too much effort. As a result, they sit around doing nothing. They become shut off. If they were in an environment where there was action going on outside their door, they would be more active.

Daily Activities: If your loved ones can no longer do any of the following independently, they may need help: taking their medications regularly, eating properly, bathing and wearing clean clothes frequently, going to the restroom safely.

If you start detecting any of these three factors, it's time to have a heart-to-heart talk with your senior. Some people may be ready to move into transitional housing, while others will never want to leave their house. Part of it is a lack of knowledge about what their choices truly look like or how they might pay for some of them.

Resources to Start the Conversation

Comparing the Cost of Living at Home Versus in a Senior Care Community

Many seniors want to stay in their homes for as long as possible because they perceive living in a care community to be expensive. However, when you factor in the cost of maintaining a home, making it safe, and other considerations such as hassle and danger, a care community may start to look much more attractive.

Let's look at a few of the factors to consider.


Cost of Living Exercise: Take out a sheet of paper and list out all the costs of owning a home and living in that home. Add those costs up and calculate the monthly expense. You can copy and paste the table below to into a word document.

Cost of Living Comparison

The property where your senior lives may also require upkeep. They must budget for a variety of expenditures if they own their own home. On average, it takes 10 to 20 years to replace major components of a house, such as the hot water heater, furnace, air conditioner, basic composition roofs, windows, and other items. Things go wrong in a house. All of the things that the senior who owns their home should keep in mind while comparing costs.

Furthermore, take into account the cost of alterations you may need to make around your home to ensure it is safe for them. For example: adding handrails and grab bars, replacing carpet with solid surface floors, adding wheelchair ramps, replacing tubs and showers with models that are more accessible ,adding stairlifts. These adjustments can be expensive but are worth it to keep your loved one safe.

Cost of Services Comparison

In order to get a grasp on what you might need to budget for, visit All you have to do is type in your zip code and the website will give you an estimate of different items cost in your area as well as into the future. According to our research here are numbers specific for those living in the St Louis area as of 2020:

service cost chart 2020

This website has an interesting chart that compares average annual prices from 2004 to 2020.

Service Cost Increases 2004 to 2020

Defining Senior Services

What types of care will your senior receive from these services, and how much will they cost?

In-Home Care: The In-Home Care Homemaker is a service that helps with daily living tasks that don't require the assistance of a medical expert. The In-Home Care Homemaker will assist with medication administration, meal preparation, mobility assistance, bathing and dressing, domestic work (no house cleaning), grocery shopping, companionship, transportation, and personal care (going to the bathroom).

Home Health Care: This person will assist with any medical requirements. We frequently encounter in-home health care immediately after the major event that sparked all of this discussion to ensure the elderly recovers. The Home Health Care Aid will provide first aid and wound treatment, physical therapy, monitoring chronic illnesses, giving medications, occupational therapy, assistance with medical equipment usage, post-surgery recovery treatment, respiratory treatment, and blood withdrawals.

Adult Day Care: Senior citizens will encounter a professional team that cares for their health, nutrition, and daily living requirements while also providing social activities when they go to Adult Day Care. They may or may not have qualified medical personnel on hand. Designed to allow caregivers to care for their elders at night and on the weekends, as well as give them a place to go so the caregiver can rest during the day.

Assisted Living: Assisted living communities range from those without skilled care to those that do it on a regular basis. The seniors will generally have their own apartment in which they can live with many of their daily activities of living, such as all or part of the meals, laundry services, cleaning services, social activities, and someone to keep an eye on them. When the senior deteriorates, the community may provide more services without having to relocate them.

Skilled Nursing: These options for in-home care come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each providing care from trained registered nurses who work under a doctor’s supervision.

Campus: Here in the St Louis area, you'll discover enormous companies that provide all of these services under one roof. They may help with senior care for a while before moving on to adult daycare. They may have a structure available for various types of Assisted Living and the ability to give Skilled Nursing if required. All you need is a new home. Everything comes at a price, though.

Memory Care: This community is for our elderly who struggle with cognitive decline and might not be able to do basic tasks or have a tendency to wander off and get lost. To prevent them from getting lost, these types of communities typically have locked doors that only visitors can enter through.

Residential Assisted Living: An emerging trend is offering help to seniors in a home-like setting. This usually takes the form of a large house or building with 5 to 8 bedrooms that may be private or semi-private.

Selling Your Senior’s House

There may also be a concern about what to do with the home after you consult with your older adult. There is often resistance to selling it because the assisted living is only for a short time until they are fully recovered and can return home. But many times they never return home.

It is important to keep in mind that if you do nothing and let your house sit vacant, it will cost you time and money to keep up with a vacant property. It will also gradually deteriorate, meaning it will never be worth more than it is right now.

Discussing a move to an assisted living community is difficult, but you also need decide what to do with the house.

There are several options.

  • Cleaning and Making Room for Family to Move In
  • Rent it out after cleaning
  • Cleaning and making necessary repairs/updates the list with a Realtor
  • As-Is sell to a cash buyer

At StLouisProperty360, Terry & Terri - can aid you in selling your home "as-is" to us or to the retail market through our brokerage MORE Realtors. Together we'll come up with the best solution for you and your family. We understand that getting rid of unwanted items can be stressful, which is why we offer resources to help you declutter your home. Or, if you'd rather not deal with it all, we're happy to take everything off your hands when we purchase your property.

If you're considering renting out your property, unless that's the business you're in, we advise against becoming a landlord. Most people don't have the expertise required to manage a rental property successfully.

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