When considering housing and care options for yourself or for an aging parent, the more information you have, the better. In “New Stages, New Needs: Evaluating Housing and Care Options for Mature Adults, TIAA-CREF summarizes your in-home care and living choices.

For in-home care:


  • Nursing registries match people with professionals trained to care for specific medical conditions.
  • Home health agencies train and supervise the nurses and personal care aides they provide.
  • Local government agencies, e.g., the Department of Social Services, Department of Human Services and the Area Agency on Aging, are all good sources for finding in-home care professionals and other resources.


Living arrangements:

  • Retirement communities
  • Care centers provide opportunities to socialize as well as daytime care.
  • Nursing homes are state-licensed facilities appropriate for both short-term usage for those recovering from an accident or illness, and long-term care for seniors who can no longer look after themselves at home.
  • Assisted living facilities are for those who cannot live independently but do not need the around-the-clock medical care provided by a nursing home.

The changing economy, technological advances and growing knowledge about aging all point to changes in senior care in the near future. A recent article from A Place for Mom (“8 Predictions about the Future of Assisted Living,” September 2015) made some interesting predictions about what kinds of changes we may see:

  • A move away from the nursing home model of care, with a bigger focus on aging in place. This means unprecedented growth in home care jobs; the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 70% increase in home health and personal care aides over the next decade.


  • Technology-enhanced care. People are already using smart computers to keep track of medications and vital signs, and some care communities provide mobile support via wireless networks. Personal care robots are the next technological step in the modernization of senior care.


  • More housing options. Trends that continue to grow include:  a) Multigenerational housing, where families pool resources to either modify an existing home for multiple generations or move into a home built with both young families and older adults in mind, and b) Senior co-housing, which involves residents having their own homes but sharing recreational spaces and duties, in the spirit of a commune.