Housing Options for Older People

Housing Options 101

Everyone deserves a place to live and thrive that’s accessible, affordable, and pleasant. Woman smiling in front of a fireplaceIf you’re experiencing housing challenges as you age, there’s a solution for you. Read on for a wealth of information about housing options, including independent living, personal care homes or assisted living communities, nursing homes, and life plan communities. Individuals with disabilities can find additional information here.

Know what you’re looking for? You can use Empowerline’s search for services to find housing services and providers near you. You can also contact Empowerline directly for assistance.

Help with home modifications or repairs

If your mobility needs are changing, you may need modifications—like adding grab bars and ramps—to help make your home safer and more accessible. If you own your home, Empowerline can help link you to trusted partners who can adapt your home at full, reduced, or no cost to you, depending on your circumstances.

If you rent your home, Empowerline can help link you to services that can protect your rights as a tenant. You have rights to require your landlord to make certain repairs and to a reasonable accommodation of your disability to make your home accessible to you.

Help securing services in your current or new home

If you need to bring in professional services to assist you in your home, Empowerline can help you find options, including if you have limited income.

Help determining options for senior housing in metro Atlanta

If moving to senior housing is right for you, Empowerline can provide information on housing options, services, amenities, costs, and facility contact info.

Get to know your options for senior living in Atlanta

Once you understand your housing options in depth, you can figure out which is right for you, whether that’s adapting your current home or moving to a new location.

Is independent living right for me?

Independent living may mean you either stay in the home you own or rent or move to a downsized home or apartment. There are also several independent living communities (sometimes known as independent retirement communities, retirement communities, or senior living communities) around metro Atlanta that may be an option for you if you are considering moving. It is important to realize that independent living means that hands-on assistance (sometimes called “personal care”) or nursing services are not provided. If you find you need personal care, you will need to access it from a family member or paid service rather than from your landlord or housing provider.

Amenities and services at independent living communities vary. Some offer hot meals and housekeeping only. Others offer lots of options: dining rooms, housekeeping and laundry services, social and leisure activities, libraries, beauty salons and barber shops, pools, gardens, movie theatres, and fitness facilities.

Either way—whether you stay where you currently live or move to a community designed for independent senior living—this is a great option for people who do not need hands-on care, or can access that care via a nursing service, family member, or a paid service.

Independent senior living communities are not licensed by the State of Georgia and have no regular inspections to ensure that the setting is meeting minimum service standards.

Paying for Independent Senior Living Communities

If you can afford to pay the full amount for your housing and plan to move into a complex designed for independent living, you’ll find many options. Independent senior housing communities may offer apartments, townhomes, villas, cottages, suites, or for-purchase-condominiums. Costs vary widely depending primarily on type of residence and services and amenities offered. Many of these communities have a minimum age criterion for admission.

If you cannot afford to pay the full amount for your housing, there are several subsidized independent senior living options available. In these settings (typically apartments), residents pay a reduced rent rate. In many subsidized housing units, social service staff are available on site to offer social activities. Often, these housing options require that residents meet age, physical disability, or income criteria to qualify for the subsidy.

Obtaining personal services in your home

To access in-home personal care or nursing, there are a couple of options for licensed provider agencies in Georgia:

  • Private home care provider: an entity that provides direct care services at an individual’s residence, including nursing services, personal care tasks, and companion or sitter tasks.
  • Home health agency: an entity that provides home health services according to a written treatment plan signed by the patient’s physician in the individual’s residence. Home health services include part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and at least one of the following: physical, occupational or speech therapy; medical social services; or home health aide services.

To search for in-home personal care providers, including their inspection histories, visit GaMap2Care. You can also contact Empowerline to help find home- and community-based services, even if you have limited income.