Get Free Help Preparing Your Taxes From AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location

Introducing RealPad

The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Celebrate Black Life, History, and Culture!



You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation



Renew for 3 and attend Life at 50+ for free



Life at 50+ - Discover. Engage. Enjoy.





Life at 50+ - Register for the Digital Experience



Happy African American couple







AARP Auto Buying Program



AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy






Military and Veterans Discount




New Book

Dating After 50: How to get back in the game

Dating After 50 For Dummies

Contests and

AARP’s Superstar
2015 Contest

Sing for a chance to win $5,000! Enter AARP’s Superstar 2015 Contest!
See official rules


Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.


Home & Community Webinars

Family & Caregiving Webinars

Popular Articles



AARP Games - Play Now!

Poll: Are You a Real Techie?

Which Type of Housing Is Best for You?

Consider the needs, wants, and personality of your family member when choosing housing

Many people enter CCRC's and never leave their independent-living units. Others need the extra help. The most important feature of continuing care is that all needs can be met. Family members can be assured that if their loved one's health status changes, the on-site resources are there to provide support. Because these communities provide so many levels of support, they can be expensive; but for many families, the comfort in knowing that any change to Mom's health condition can be addressed without necessitating another move is worth it.

Steps in the Process

Once you decide that a loved one needs a change in housing, you and your family members are advised to meet and evaluate what is best for your loved one. Here are some tips to guide you:

Determine what help your loved one needs. This could mean getting a professional assessment, which will provide everyone with specifics when selecting among options.

  • Visit a number of residences; don't see just one.
  • When you take a tour, be sure to talk to residents, staff, and visiting family members.
  • Ask staff members how long they've worked there; a good sign of quality is low turnover.
  • Check with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Many assisted-living residences, nursing homes, and CCRCs voluntarily apply for accreditation, which means they meet many quality measures.
  • Be sure you get clear information on costs and the details for all financial arrangements.
  • Talk with your loved one about what is important to him or her as you narrow your options.

A Simple Refrain

Be kind to yourself. Together with your loved one, you're making the best decision you can with the information and resources you have at hand, so try not to get caught up in the emotion of the moment. None of us has a crystal ball that tells us everything about the future.

Again, remember that the situation could change in the future. The senior apartment might not work if your mom ends up needing help with bathing. The assisted-living residence might not be able to help your dad if his skilled-nursing requirements increase.

Again, as the song goes, "Home is where the heart is, no matter how the heart lives. Inside your heart where love is, that's where you've got to make yourself at home."

As you and your family members make decisions about what housing option is best for your loved one, keep the "heart" in the "home."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

membership ancestry

Members save 30% on  a one-year subscription to

Grocery Coupon Center

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by

Member Benefits Discounts Angie's List

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.