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As we get older, many of us find joy and comfort in being surrounded by familiar faces and places,  and that’s especially true when it comes to living in our homes. In fact, an AARP survey shows that 77% of adults over 50 want to stay in their homes long-term. However, certain home features like stairs or high surfaces can make aging in place more difficult and inconvenient for your changing needs. Fortunately, there are creative living arrangements and community options out there that offer ways you can continue living independently with support. 

Subsidized housing
Affordable housing can be difficult to come by. Fortunately, government and local housing programs grant money, or subsidies, to housing complexes to help lower-income older adults pay their rent. These subsidized housing options often come already equipped with accessibility features like ramps, bathroom handrails, transportation, and cleaning services. According to CT Law Help, subsidized rents are usually 30% of your income, meaning if you earn $1,000 a month, you would pay $300 for housing. Eligibility for this type of housing is usually based upon both age and income. In Connecticut, most towns have subsidized housing set aside for lower-income older adults, typically studio or one-bedroom apartments. However, demand for these is high and they often have waiting lists. The earlier you plan ahead for your new home, the more likely it will be available when you’re ready to move, since wait times may be long. You can start by using 211’s online search tool to find subsidized rental housing communities for older adults near you.

If you don’t mind sharing a common space or two, living with a roommate is another great way to age in place. According to the CDC, social isolation increases the risk of dementia and other serious medical conditions in older adults. Having a roommate can relieve feelings of loneliness, and possibly even lead to a new and fulfilling friendship. Roommates can also help with household chores and responsibilities, and they will be close by to assist in case of emergencies, such as a fall or needed medical care. Another benefit to living with a roommate, especially for older adults living on a fixed income, is splitting costs. People who choose to live together can save on rent, maintenance, groceries, utilities, and other living expenses. 

If you want to experience the neighborly feel and intimate connection of a village, you actually don’t have to go far. Village communities are local membership organizations created for and managed by older adults who wish to live independently in their own home while receiving services. Village members usually pay a yearly fee to be connected to supports that promote healthy aging, such as social activities, volunteer opportunities, transportation assistance, and help with chores. Membership fees typically range from $10 to $900 for individuals, according to AARP, making villages a cost-effective option for accessing local resources. People also support each other in villages by volunteering to provide services to fellow members. This helps build a sense of community, and boosts confidence in members that they can comfortably age in place. If you’re interested in exploring village life or seeing if there are any near you, the Village to Village Network has information and a map of communities across the nation. 

Assisted living homes
Assisted living communities are for older adults who want to live independently in a communal setting and need help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as eating, bathing, dressing, and hygiene. Assisted living facilities are also available for individuals whose needs may increase over time. Residents will usually pay a monthly fee based on the type of apartment and level of care needed, and will have access to shared common areas. One of the perks of living in an assisted living facility is that it may already be equipped with security and safety features meant to support the quality of life of its residents. The facility is also responsible for any home maintenance you may need. That means you don’t have to worry about spending money to make repairs or install your own home modifications. Assisted living communities also offer classes and social activities to keep residents mentally and physically engaged. These may include yoga classes, painting sessions, outings to plays or concerts, and more! Receiving care in an assisted living community can be pricey, but there are some programs that can help you get financial support for assisted living services. Learn more by visiting MyPlaceCT’s page on Affordable Assisted and Congregate Living Options.

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MyPlaceCT is a free, web-based resource designed to help older adults and people with disabilities live at home or in the community with optimal independence, health and well-being.

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United Way of Connecticut 2-1-1 is a free, online and over-the-phone helpline that connects you with the resources you need confidentially, and at no cost 24/7. Communicate with highly-trained specialists who can provide referrals to services and supports that address housing, food, home care, crisis intervention needs and more.

Connect with a specialist during normal business hours, Monday- Friday, 8AM to 5PM. You can also dial 2-1-1 on your phone to reach a specialist.