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Over the course of time, our family composition, interests, and abilities change—and with those changes come differences in our housing needs. For some, the need for increased accessibility requires modifying their existing home. Others move into a different type of housing or community. Some adults choose to leave the large homes in which they raised children and instead to move into homes that are smaller and more manageable. Sadly, others are forced to sell their homes because they can no longer afford the cost of maintaining them.
Ideally, each community provides a variety of housing types (including service-oriented housing) at various levels of affordability.
If you believe that housing options are limited in your community, complete our survey and tell us where we need to work to make improvements to enable you to live comfortably and affordably in Westchester.
Types of Housing for Older People
Single-Family Homes: These homes offer a personal living environment; however, they are often not designed to meet the needs of older residents. Some single-family homes are located in age-restricted retirement communities.
Multi-family Housing: These units, including apartments or condominiums, consist of separate but structurally connected homes with independent-living situations. Some of these facilities are age-restricted (many are called "seniors apartments" or "older-adult communities").
Shared Housing: This type of living situation describes a group of unrelated, independent, older people living together and sharing household duties and companionship. In some communities, zoning restrictions in single-family neighborhoods pose difficulties for these living arrangements.
Accessory-Dwelling Units: These take several forms, including independent 600- to 700-square-foot cottages in the backyards of single-family homes. Some elder cottages (ECHO units) are modular units that can be located temporarily in a backyard. Other units can be attached to a home or located over a garage. Accessory units for older residents are frequently associated with the homes of younger relatives, who can provide quick care for the older relative when needed.
Congregate Care: This type of older-resident apartment typically offers hospitality services, such as group meals, light housekeeping, social and recreational opportunities, and scheduled transportation to shopping and cultural activities.
Assisted Living Facilities: These facilities offer housing that allows direct personal care along with independence. Residents live in private apartments that include supportive services to help with basic living needs, such as personal care and medication management. Assisted living facilities also offer the hospitality services found in congregate-care facilities.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities: These three-stage facilities provide life care in a managed community. They provide separate homes or cottages with optional hospitality services, assisted living, and nursing care. Residents can use the services that they need as their lives change. An initial down payment and regular monthly charges cover the possible use of more costly nursing home care.
Nursing Homes: Nursing homes offer the least amount of independence; their residents often require 24-hour care and need assistance with most or all activities.