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Regular Contributor

Senior Housing

It's been a challenge to find AFFORDABLE senior housing for myself in Chicago, IL. Before my last birthday I was looking for 55+ housing and it was nearly non-existent. But now I'm 62 and more options are available. Last year, I'd visited a place I really liked from the outside, got a waiting-list application, and they called recently because they have a unit available. But I have a lease now for my current apartment until August and I'm just not ready to pack up and move again already. This is my first apartment on my own again since 8/2011 and I kinda like it here. However, I am considering the new place for my 80 y.o. mother. She lives in Independent Senior housing now, but the place is basically in the middle of nowhere. My sister found/chose the place and at the time, I did not have the means/transportation to check other options.

 

The main reason I'm posting about this is to give a heads-up to others like me, who might be looking for Independent Senior housing. I have a short checklist I've been working on and thought others should consider these items. Most are beyond what the property manager will tell you when you take a tour.

* Nearest grocery store? Grocery delivery available?

* Is there a bank branch/ATM for your bank nearby?

* Proximity to public transportation (bus, train)? Taxi service?

* Nearest hospital/Urgent Care facility? Proximity to your doctor's office?

* Closest Pharmacy to get meds and sundry items?

* Closest restaurants for dine-in and/or delivery?

* Closest shopping mall/mini mall?

* Closest dry cleaners? Do they have pick-up/delivery?

* Closest place to worship/church?

* Proximity to other entertainment - Movie theater? Library? Local shopping? Parks? Museums?

* What are the Senior Transportation options if you don't drive/have a car?

 

*

Periodic Contributor

Hi citygal226,

 

I am in DIRE need of an apt. (by or BEFORE June 9th) and, if you don't mind, would like to inquire that if you do not consider the apt. for your mother or yourself, I would be interested in the apt. and if you would, share the name of the building, address, and/or phone number?

Or, if you know of other Sr. housing in the Chicago, IL area, I would sincerely appreciate any info., leads, etc.  Thank you.

 

With prayers,

Tfharris02

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Social Butterfly

These links are to HUD and more for subsidized housing for seniors and the disabled.  It goes according to income etc so not all would qualify.  Good luck to everybody on finding what you want/need.

 

Scroll to bottom of this Main page for links and easier to find resources:  https://www.hud.gov/

 

Yes there is usually a waiting list but depending on where one is looking makes a difference. https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/pha/contacts   I have gotten in as little as one month in Colorado but here in Havasu it was two years.  But i could afford to wait since i was living with my Daughter.

 

And here's one more on the same site:  https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance

 

You can lead a Liberal to knowledge, but you can't make'em THINK! 😞
Trump 2020!!!
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Super Contributor

Still searching for afforadable housing. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears at this point. ALL STATES I checked with have long waiting list. It's SO frustrating! 😕

Periodic Contributor

I use this (affordablehousingonline.com) to find open waiting lists and even some senior housing with no waiting lists.
Conversationalist

I find that the east coast is a good place for affordable senior housing. Just found a very nice place in PA for my 93 year old aunt. The community does not have all of the amenities some communities have, no wellnes center, beauty salon, no meals, no 24 hour desk service.no public transportation in area and nothing accessible without a car. However, it is a very nice building and because it does not have the amenities, it is extremely affordable. Even without the amenities, it works well for her, she is independent and gets around really well and still able to prepare her meals. For those who can't prepare meals, Meals on Wheels is an option. We have someone do her laundry (washers/dryers in building), grocery shopping and housekeeping and the community has a bus that take the residents shopping 3 days a week.There are daily social activities, movie night, game night, book clubs in the building. For doctors and hair appointments a family member was taking her anyway so nothing has changed there. A taxi or Uber is also an option. The building's social committee always have planned outings including, movies, plays, shopping trips, overnight trips, dining out. If you don't need all of the amenities, a senior building like this a  a great extremely affordable option. Look in the Philly, PA area.

Contributor

My mother is 90 years old and in a condo she owns. My brother, who's 65, and her boyfriend, who is somewhere between those ages, live with her. But, it has stairs and the boyfriend can't navigate them.

 

So, they're looking for subsidized senior housing.

 

Just picking places has netted her a few 3-year waiting lists. They would prefer to move sooner than later. Is there a way to find places with shorter waiting lists? They're in New Haven, CT, now, but don't have a lot of ties there and are willing to move. The Lake George area sounds nice to her, she has grandchildren around Lexington, KY; Seattle, WA and a few other places.

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Social Butterfly

Having lived near Lake George where the winters can be harsh i would not advise a 90 year old to move there.  It is so cold that everything freezes over,  including the  Lake - cars can drive on it.

It's glorious in the spring, summer, fall but the snow, ice and cold is isolating, especially for Seniors.  

 

 

Periodic Contributor

I wholly understand the plight of seniors seeking safe, affordable, dignified housing. I live in Los Angeles and these are the sources I have been using to locate possibilities:

 

My situation is a bit unique in that I am homeless with little income and cannot officially retire until I am 66 years, 4 month (am 63). 

 

My search is ONLY for a subsidized senior housing plan that accepts 30% of WHATEVER your income is but maybe your needs and income level will give you more latitude. So far, I have found and gotten on the waiting list of more than a half-dozen properties in better areas of metro Los Angeles.

Regular Social Butterfly

@citygal226 

Hello Citygal,

Those are great suggestions for seniorsSmiley Happy  I live in my own home, but may sell it to move around other seniors.  I also have a vehicle and drive myself, but who knows how long I'll be able to deal with the traffic issues in my city.

Hopefully you'll get where you want to be, when your lease expires.

 

Have a Blessed Day,

Marylin

Regular Contributor

Just wanted to say "Thank You" to everyone who read, replied, and gave me Kudos for my post! I wrote it over a year ago and I'm still getting Kudos about it! I'm just really glad that so many AARP-ers got some value from what I said.

Super Contributor

Hello citygal226,

Thanks for starting this post. Believe it or not, I was just searching for senior housing on AARP to see if anyone had a post already and lo and behold, you did! Awesome! Had there not been a post, I would have started one because it's sad hunting for me trying to find housing as a senior citizen. I want to relocate back to Atlanta/Marietta/areas near those two cities...so if anyone has any openings where they live in those cities, please let me know. I lived there a few years, then had to move away for a few years, now I want to go back there. I'm a female in my 60's and do NOT make enough retirement pay to afford anything except an income based housing apartment which is fine with me as long as it's clean and well taken care of...a studio to one bedroom apartment is all I need. I'm also open to moving to Jacksonville, Florida. I live in the Tampa area now with my oldest daughter but want to live elsewhere on my own now. Thanks for your help. 🙂

Contributor

I see I'm not the only one. I'm 62, just got divorced and living with my daughter temporarily. I've been searching up and down for a low income apartment in the Orlando or Sanford, Fl area and can't seem to find anything on my fixed income and not just that everything is a long waiting list, its so frustrating. If anyone out there knows of anyone renting in the areas mentioned above, please let me know. Oh, I'm not thinking of renting a room, that'll be last resort. Thank you in advance.
Periodic Contributor

I have heard alot about Senior House sharing, but have not been able to find much about it like how to get started etc.. I would like to stay in my home, but it is gettng to be a bit much both physically and financially. I wish AARP would do an article on this topic. (Senior house sharing)

Regular Contributor

I agree. Seniors need lower price housing shared examples and options, for seniors. Not so much air BB but more near the golden girls , three or two, or perhaps more. AARP should find, promote, write about success stories, even help fund some trials.  The community housing for seniors is an attempt to meet health needs, food with cafeteria halls, and helping service and community centers for local groups. But it's hard to set up, it's more expense each unit, and just not as feasible as smaller house sharing  that is  smaller scale. And  more basic. AARP writers should seek out success stories to print and describe.  

Contributor

The family home where the kids went to high school was in a town without opportunity so the kids moved away. I verified that they did not even like visiting, so I sold the house. I went to a city where one of them was attending college because it was promoting itself as a great place for seniors. I learned that it applied only if you were top 1%, subdivisions with their own bars sorts of places. I then researched cities online to verify that there were activities, churches, low cost of living, and availability of housing. I learned that there are many fly-by-night senior housing complexes, accomodating lower-mid incomes now but maybe not tomorrow. I chose a city with my interests, in an acceptable climate, with public transit, on the AMTRAK line, good medical facilities, and an apartment complex for all ages in low-mid income. The complex is large with many floor plans, and I got to choose the floor plan and the floor. Many are not in a position to start with a clean slate (why relocate if you like where you live), but if the kids are at the stage of internships and entry level professional jobs it's a good place to live while they land.

Periodic Contributor

Your choices were well-reasoned, Patricia. Am happy for you that you have the means to make these choices happen quickly.

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Trusted Contributor

i made the decision to move to a 55+ active community 19 yrs ago. i was in my early 50's then now having turned 70 and retired it really fits. i feel comfortable and safe for sure and have no regrets. and i only have to put with old people.

Contributor

HUD housing for seniors age 62+.  The rent of 30% of your income usually includes all utilities. The only costs you pay are for cable/phone/internet. I am currently a rental assistant at an apt building that has HUD for seniors. When looking at housing I myself looked for properties that were 1 level instead of highrises since I did not want to deal with elevators (they do break down), plus I was looking for a small town. The housing I am moving to in NC in 2-3 months also includes W/D hookups in each apt. The town I am moving to is 8,000 pop. has all amenities including hospital, urgent care, numerous doctors, Walgreens, Rite Aid, several banks, Walmart, several other grocery stores, plenty of restaurants, outdoor concerts in the summer, etc. With computers in this day & age and smartphones you do not even need your own bank to have a physical branch. They DO have waitng lists since they only have openings when folks move out 

Regular Contributor

I am Blessed, at age 65, that we paid our house off 2 years ago. My husband still works and is making good money. We are doing as many remodels and reapirs as quickly as we can so we can be free of, hopefully, any major reapirs. We have a 3 bedroom raised ranch that is already posing as a problem for my arthritis and back. We have lots of stairs to get into the house. We will eventually have to put a lift in the basement to get me upstairs. I am a small woman.
We need our basement as my husband has a part time business downstairs.
A retirement community and a smaller place sounds lovely, but I have dogs and will continue to have them. I cannot mop and clean this place either. I have to pay to have it done.
So how does Senior Housing out weigh a home that is paid for? Is it better to downsize than pay the extra for Senior Housing?
My utility bills and yearly taxes (broken down monthly) will take half my check if I ever have to live alone. How do you afford Senior Housing and buy groceries, gas, clothing, etc?
Senior Housing around here (just outside Atlanta) is upwards of $2000+(that is the lower end) a month.  How does one do that with a check that is not even half that?
I also want to add that I was a stay at home Mom for so many years and have very little work history. I had to go on disability at age 51 (just as I was entering the work force) due to the back surgery and arthritis. I was getting a fair check until 6 months before I turned 65. They cut my check (claiming I got a lump sum medical settlement, which was an annuity that I never see and cannot use as living expenses). I fought this and lost and had to take ealy retirement or only get $300 a month after SS was taken out.
When my husband retires, I am hoping I can claim his benfits.
Government needs to take care of this aging Baby Boomer generation. We are falling through the cracks!! Especially those of us who stayed home with our children.


Gold Conversationalist

I’m staying in my modest paid for home, in a nice neighborhood, as long as I can!

Contributor

You have the perfect list of concerns. I agree.
Contributor

Wow ! $91 that is a great rent price. I live in senior housing (independent living) and I pay $378. Our building is HUD regulated. Sometimes it is a pain. But the activies are plenty. I myself have a coloring group twice a month. But don't necessarily go to every activity. In order to get our rent amount they subtract our medical cost that we had they the year and them we pay one third of what is left. We are recertified each year. 

Periodic Contributor

$91 increase is amount rent went up per month on new lease. Total rent for this 1 BR in Las Vegas is now $1421. They claim base rent is $1547 and the "discount" is -$156.  Lived here 7 yrs and it has never increased more than $30 month.

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Super Contributor

WOW! THAT'S INSANE!!! YOU SHOULD MOVE AND STOP GIVING THEM YOUR MONEY!
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Super Contributor

That's VERY sad and WRONG for rents to be so dang high in America! Businesses are eating us to death with their high prices! SICK SICK SICK!!!
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Contributor

Carla j ...the  91.00 is is the raise  in rent.       not the total rent paid. 

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Regular Contributor

You make good points on what list of needs seem best for serving senior housing.  I think a community to be able to say most or all these needs are within a 10 minute drive to 85 or 90% of not only seniors but far majority of the city residents. If a community lacks a good public transportation system, perhaps the new uber ride share  can be done part of the answer.   If a community values it's seniors, efforts are made  accomplish needed services.  

Regular Contributor

You make good points on what list of needs seem best for serving senior housing.  I think a community to be able to say most or all these needs are within a 10 minute drive to 85 or 90% of not only seniors but far majority of the city residents. If a community lacks a good public transportation system, perhaps the new uber ride share  can be done part of the answer.   If a community values it's seniors, efforts are made compromise needed services.  

Gold Conversationalist

Luckily we have several kids so we just sold our house and do a round robin of visiting!

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