The elderly have a wide variety of choices for alternative living arrangements depending on the services they require, their level of independence, costs and legal rights. These include supportive housing, congregate care, independent facilities and retirement communities.
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Alternative living arrangements for the elderly may be privately owned, sponsored by non-profit organizations or government sponsored. Diverse alternative living arrangements offer different service and thus it is crucial for the family members of an elderly person to select a facility whose services encompass a wide scope of health, recreational and social programs (Falvo, 2011). However, the lack of a clear distinction of the programs and services offered by various alternative living arrangements creates confusion during decision making on the appropriate facility to place an elderly person. For example, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) enrolls the elderly while considering that the possibility of deterioration in the level of an individual’s activity and independence. In this regard, an elderly person who enrolls in the CCRC living arrangement will have his or her changing needs catered for appropriately. Some alternative living arrangements such as congregate care, personal care and assisted living facilities incorporate a variety of healthcare services (Sherlock, 2000). Thus, the family members of an elderly person with health complications should analyze the scope of healthcare support incorporated in different living arrangements. The fact that the scope of services offered in living arrangements in different states varies is a factor of concern because it may subject the elderly population in some states to various forms of negligence. While some facilities have healthcare professionals who attend to the health and wellness requirements of the elderly, others have to transport their clients to healthcare facilities for medical checkups. The cost of alternative living arrangements varies with government-sponsored facilities including subsidized housing options. However, government sponsored facilities do not have the wide variety of services evident in private facilities.