These pages are designed to be helpful to older adults and their families when they are contemplating a move out of the family home. This is a big decision, often emotionally laden, and the choices can be overwhelming and confusing.
For an article on how to have that conversation with a loved one, or how to make the decision yourself, click here.
When seeking the right fit for a new living situation, it is helpful to start with questions like these:
- Do I want to stay in the same community or move to another?
- Am I looking for something fo the next life stage, or for the duration?
- What financial resources do I have?
- What needs or interests do I have that should be considered?
- What are the safety and risk factors in my current situation?
Housing options are generally differentiated by the level of care needed. Costs arise as the ratio of staff to reasidents and level of credentials increase. You may have heard professionals talk about ADL’s, or Activities of Daily Living, the activities we do for basic daily self-care. These include dressing, eating, bathing, grooming, grooming, toileting, and moving from bed to chair. Instrumental ADL’s add those activities that are essential for independent living, such as transportation, shopping, paying bills, cooking, health care, home care, safety, and pet care. Determining the right living situation relates to whether you need assistance in one or more of these areas. Cooking does not require the same level of professional support as medication administration or wound care. Different pages on housing on this website relating to levels of care are:
- Independent Living
- Continuing care retirement communities, or “CCRCs”
- In-home assistance
- Assisted living facilities
- Nursing homes
Questions you may want to ask when visiting these care facilities are listed on the Assessing Housing Facilities page. Princeton Senior Resource Center transitions staff are available to help you learn about them and to select the one that is right for you or your family member(s). To discuss your alternatives with a PSRC representative, call 609.924.7108 to make an appointment.
ACTIVE ADULT COMMUNITIES
These communities offer condominium, townhome, or detached homes in contained communities where a monthly fee covers all outdoor maintenance and membership in pool/tennis/community room activities. No personal care or transportation are offered. Units are bought/sold through realtors or developers.
CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES (CCRC’s)
These communities provide housing, services, and health care to people of retirement age. The community provides increasing levels of care to meet the needs of residents from independent living through assisted living and skilled nursing care. There is usually an entrance fee and a monthly fee.
Apartment-style housing and congregate dining with a coordinated array of supportive personal and health services, available 24-hrs/day to residents who have been assessed to need these services, including residents requiring long-term care. Many include a secure community for residents with memory loss.
See Assisted Living
LONG TERM CARE & REHABILITATION (NURSING HOMES)
These residential skilled nursing facilities provide 24-hour supervision by licensed nurses. Care must be prescribed by a physician. Emphasis is on medical care with various therapies supplementing medical treatment. Other services such as meals, housekeeping, and recreational services are also provided. For an up-to-date list of local facilities and recent state performance assessments of all facilities in the U.S. See medicare.gov.
See Nursing Homes
ADULT FAMILY CARE PROGRAM
Provides an alternative to institutional assisted living or nursing home care for frail, disabled, or elderly persons. Clients are placed with a trained caregiver who provides room, board, and personal care services. Supportive health and social services are provided. Licensed by the State of New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services. Includes Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, and Mercer Co.
- A program of Senior Citizens United Community Services Inc
- 537 Nicholson Rd., Audubon, NJ 08106
- Income eligibility requirements apply
Affordable Housing Alliance
- 59 Broad St., Eatontown, NJ 07724
- Matches people in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Co who have a room to rent to a person who needs affordable housing.
- Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, and Union counties
- 120 Finderne Ave., Bridgewater, NJ 08807
New homeshare sites are appearing frequently, such as Silvernest, Nesterly, and Homeshare. Some match older people with each other, some focus on intergenerational.
For financial assistance programs for Homeowners, see Low Income Assistance or call 877.222.3737.
Sometimes a senior can remain in his or her own home with some structural modification. Other technology is available such as devices to magnify books for the visually impaired, speaking computers, door alarms, SOS buttons, Medical alert bands, Wander Guard, medication dispensers and reminders, and home monitors that can send medical information by phone or can monitor movement and alert families of changed activities. See the Adaptive Technology and Home Modification page for resources.
There are many resources available for seniors and their families who are struggling with decisions regarding housing. Here are some:
Consumer Report’s Complete Guide to Health Services for Seniors, available through Amazon.com and other book stores.
State of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services: Selecting a Long Term Care Setting, A Guide for New Jersey Consumers state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/home/ltcguide.html
Mercer County Office on Aging, 877.222.3737, mercercounty.org/departments/human-services/aging-disability-resource-connection/office-on-aging
Leading Age leadingage.org
Care Pathways website has a wealth of information including articles and listings of facilities: carepathways.com/
Assisted Living Federation of America (AFLA) alfa.org
National Council on the Aging ncoa.org
The Medicare website is also very helpful. medicare.gov
US Department of Housing and Urban Development: hud.gov/
There are several commercial sites (.com) you will find if you put key words such as caregivers, seniors, or homecare into your browser. They are eager to help with your research and decision, although they may not be neutral, and are often selling a product. Check to see how a facility qualifies to be listed with them. One example of such sites is www.seniorlivinglink.org which maps locations with links.
After reading these pages, you may find it helpful to make an appointment with a PSRC staff person 609.924.7108 to discuss options and questions. It may also be helpful to hire a professional case manager to support you in the process, particularly if family members are distant. There are also professional moving assistants who help with sorting and organizing. Eldercare attorneys can assist with legal and contract concerns and financial planners or long term care planners can help with financial issues. We hope these pages assist you in your search.
SENIOR LIVING ADVISORS: There is an emerging niche for “senior living advisors.” Some of these say there is no fee, because they get paid by the residential community for the placement, similar to some of the print “senior living directories” which only include paid ads. See Geriatric Care Managers page.
The Princeton Senior Resource Center does not endorse any of the resources listed on these pages. We collect and provide information from many sources as a service to those seeking services in the Princeton area. No listed provider pays to be in our directory.