Is Senior Housing Affordable?

A number of years ago, I was in the position that many of us have or will have to ask ourselves.  What are we going to do with mom and dad as they enter into the winter of their lives?  We don’t often take the time to think about where we want to simply hang out in our 70’s and beyond.  There are also circumstances where those decisions come much later and often times at a point where those decisions are left to our children, direct relatives and in some cases friends and neighbors.

Over the last few years, the baby boomers are quickly realizing that it’s time to settle in and live off their hard worked earnings.  But it’s not just baby boomers.  People who are typically social want to remain so and find that Adult Restricted communities are the way to go.  Older or Single couples are finding new ways of living out their lives in master planned communities with amenities that they can access but not maintain.  It’s like a stay home vacation but everybody gets to leave in the end and the residents can get back to their quiet lives along with others who have many things in common but don’t want to live in the “well back in the day” moment.

The challenge is that these master planned communities are often only available for those who have planned well.  What happens to all those folks who worked just as hard, but didn’t necessarily have the career pathway that could afford life in a planned community?  It seems that for those who can’t access these communities which often come with assisted living situations will have to be turned to nursing homes or some other form of assisted living (notably with their families until a certain point).  So nursing homes it seems need to survive.  However, these institutions which are vital to the continuance of dignified living may be in trouble in today’s insurance environment.

The Senate has now placed their version of the updated House bill on hold, pending further discussion and rightly so.  We already know that the dialogue for funding nursing homes and assisted living are covered through the Medicaid program.  I am not here to debate whether it is governments role to ensure dignified living. I am saying that extreme care should be taken when debating whether or not programs that help fund our elderly are thoroughly vetted.  Those who are not fortunate enough to live their lives in the better accommodates should not be left behind with nothing.  Before anyone raises their hands about the debate as to natural distribution of those who can afford them, think about those whose only chance of having a roof over their head’s are in nursing homes across America.

I am all for like minded folks living in well thought communities at some point if they choose to do so. I am also mindful for those who for whatever reason, are not be able find themselves splashing about in the pool or having a Bar-B-Que at the neighborhood cabana.  All walks of life deserve at the very least have covered access to quality extended housing.  I am hopeful for all that this growing concern,  is not cast aside, especially amongst the baby boomers.