How Soon to Start Looking for Independent Senior Living?

By Eunice K. Neubauer, CSA

How Soon to Start Looking for Independent Senior Living in the Twin Cities MNRecently I’ve received more calls where they have said, “ I need to find senior living quickly as my house is closing in a few weeks”.    YIKES!      The reality is finding independent senior living may take one to three years depending on what you want and what you are willing to pay.

If you are looking for a continuum of care senior living option and want a 2-bedroom unit, the wait list could easily be up to two years.  The exception to that is if there is a new building being built in a desirable location and you reserve when it is in the building phase.  Then the wait may be shorter, about 10-18 months generally.

If you are willing to move to a continuum of care senior living option and pay for assisted living for a while to get to Independent living rates, that may be an option.   I’ve had a client do this and pay for assisted living rates for a few months, but they were in the community they liked best.  This option will cost you an additional $1,000-2000 a month more but it may be worth the cost to get to the community you want or to avoid moving twice.

If you need low-income housing and can only afford senior living in that scenario (30% of monthly income) the wait lists are very long, 2 years at least, and IF you can find a wait list that is open.   Many seniors realize they will use the equity in their homes and assets to pay for housing and other needs as they age.

And lastly, if you know you will need medical assistance and you don’ have much equity in your house, getting approved for Medical Assistance does not happen quickly either typically up to 6 months.    Once approved you need to find a place that accepts Medical Assistance right away.  Most senior living options require residents to pay privately for at least a year and often two or three.

Choice Connections knows the options well and is always willing to help guide seniors to the right housing for them.  Our advice, plan!  Know where you want to live before you put your house on the market.   You will have much less stress in the process of an already stressful life even!

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