A booklet published by the US Department of Health & Human Services titled “Housing Options for Older Adults: A guide for Making Housing Decisions”  introduces this topic well:

“One of the most important decisions older adults make is their choice of housing. Their future contentment, comfort and even safety may depend on careful consideration of all the housing options available to them. Fortunately, an array of housing options and living arrangements can meet the needs of those who are aging. Understanding what the options are and the needs they fill is the first step in making a wise choice.”

If you or an older family member is faced with decisions about housing, it is worth asking the following questions as suggested in the booklet:

  • What kind of lifestyle do I want? What will my living conditions be like
  • How important is my choice of location?
  • How close would I like to be to family and friends, doctors, pharmacies, other medical facilities, shopping, senior centers, religious facilities, and other amenities? 
  • Does my current health status require that I look for features that will help me move about more comfortably? 
  • How much will the housing option cost? 
  • What, if any, in­home support services will I receive for my money?
  • Am I eligible for any publicly­funded or subsidized services, such as Medicare or Medicaid?
  • What in­home support services are available now, and in the future, to meet my health and social needs? 
  • Have I involved family members and friends in my decision ­making, as appropriate? 
  • What role will others have in making these decisions? 
  • Would it be advisable for me to talk with an attorney so that I understand my rights and any legal concerns?

Answers to these questions will help guide the best choice from a variety of options including owning or renting a home, moving to a retirement community, assisted living facility,  or a nursing home.  Each of these options have personal, social, financial and legal implications that need to be carefully considered.

There are numerous options in the Bay Area and several resources that can help in the search and evaluation process.

Eldercare Locator  is a public service of the Department of Health & Human Services’ U.S. Administration on Aging that helps to connect you to a variety of services, including housing options for older adults and their families. They can also be reached at 1-800-677-1116.

Priya Living with two locations in the Bay Area – Fremont and Santa Clara – is a retirement community with a South Asian focus.  According to their web site, “Our vibrant residential communities feature contemporary apartment homes, thoughtfully arranged around well-designed public spaces. From evenings spent chatting over chai in our outdoor lounges, to morning yoga and meditation in our gymkhanas, to afternoons spent learning the latest Bollywood dance moves or Ayurvedic planting techniques, our unique programs will keep you active and energized. With this new lifestyle, coming home to Priya Living will feel like coming home to family.” It was featured in a 2013 article: West Coast Indians Get First Retirement Community in the publication India West.

There are several sources that provide listings of retirement communities in the Bay Area including BestGuide – Retirementcommunities.com

ElderLink, a free senior referral service helps “find Bay area senior care facilities and senior services for seniors in all income groups, including those using S. S. I. and Medi-Cal.” including Bay area nursing homes, Bay area assisted living facilities, Dementia care, Alzheimer’s care and Board and care homes.