Housing Strategies for DC Metro Seniors

DC senior livingDid you know that 13 percent of the U.S. population is aged 65 and older? A century ago, only 4 percent of the population held this age! Advances in medical technology have given Americans longer lives, and the baby boom generation will give America the largest elderly population it has ever seen.

As baby boomers turn 65 and over, it is estimated that one in five Americans will be over age 65, and about 5 percent of these will be over age 85.  With the demand for elderly services reaching an all-time high, planning for the care of an aging loved one is essential. Here are some options for you to consider!

Active Adult Communities in DC Area Suburbs

One of the first distinctions to keep in mind, is that not all seniors age in equal measure, and seniors are remaining independent longer than ever before. Independent seniors are increasingly choosing “active adult 55+” communities for the social opportunities and lifestyle.

These communities feature age-in-place amenities like wider halls and doorways for wheelchairs, and large bathrooms with wall-mounted handrails. They often include common areas and community rooms that host events for residents.

And because these are “active” adult communities, you can find amenities like tennis courts, pools, fitness rooms and more!

There are a number of active adult communities in Chevy Chase and Bethesda, with options for both ownership and renting. In some cases you may find a waiting list; do your home search well in advance.  Each community has a set of association rules and restrictions that you will want to review carefully.

Assisted Living, Continuing Care, and Adult Day Care Considerations

There are many specialized niches in senior housing. However, a good number of seniors will remain in their own homes for the balance of their lives; others will live with family members. Statistically, less than 10 percent of seniors end up in a nursing home. In some cases the nursing home stays are temporary, used in lieu of an extended hospital stay.

Choosing the right facility and level of care for a senior family member depends on their personal needs. Still, there are basic considerations to keep in mind when you are planning for the future:

Location. When choosing an assisted living facility, keeping your senior family member close to home should not be the number one consideration. Although it is important that the community be feasible to visit, the day-to-day living experience and quality of care should be paramount.

Openness of community. Any location can look good in a single, brief tour, but visiting a location more than once is wise. Many communities invite prospective residents to enjoy lunch with other residents, which is a wonderful way to get honest feedback. Some communities offer a weekend stay.

Staff. Is the staff appropriately dressed, personable and outgoing? Do the staff members treat each other in a professional manner? Does the staff call residents by name and interact warmly? Do they have any medical certifications or professional designations? The answers to these questions will determine whether the community is right for your loved one.

Medical needs. Does the community have on-site medical supervision? If not, is there an agency that is associated with the community that can help when needed? Do they have expertise in the specific medical areas that apply to your family member?

Get Expert Real Estate Advice for DC, Bethesda and Chevy Chase!

Planning for senior needs involves real estate decisions! From downsizing an “empty nest”,  to buying a larger home to accommodate an aging parent, having sound real estate advice is a must!

If you are buying or selling a home in the DC Metro area, give yourself the advantages of working with local real estate experts who have a proven track record of success. We will listen to your needs, and take care of your questions and concerns. We always have the latest home sales data at our fingertips in order to provide you with comprehensive views of local market activity.

When you need information about DC, Bethesda or Chevy Chase market conditions, or help with your DC Metro home searches, we’ll be here for you! Contact us for the professional guidance you can trust!

Melinda Estridge
The Estridge Group-Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
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