Usually it’s an event – a fall or an injury, the stairs just seem too difficult, or an accidental kitchen fire, that causes elders to consider a new housing option. While most seniors don’t want to move, sometimes it’s just not possible to maintain their former lifestyle in their current home. The house might be too large to keep up. It might not be disability friendly or in a community that no longer suits their needs.
There are several things to consider before deciding upon what type of housing to choose, and numerous websites to help with it. Primarily, the level of care needed is going to make the choice, so it’s time to do some research. Here are some options:
If you really want to stay in your current home and can get by with just a little bit of help, there is a volunteer group that is there for you. “Bellingham At Home” empowers seniors to stay in their homes while remaining active and making new friends. Check out their website at: https://bellinghamathome.clubexpress.com/
There are also numerous websites listing caregivers, both independent and through companies, who will come do household chores and help maintain your lifestyle. Prices vary, but this service is never inexpensive. If you have the money, a caregiver might be your solution. To find them, Google “Bellingham Caregivers”. Compare carefully and talk to more than one.
The NW Regional Council on Aging is a great resource for Whatcom, Skagit and Island County senior services. https://www.nwrcwa.org/
Their goal is also to help seniors stay in their homes utilizing available services like “Meals on Wheels” and Medicaid Transportation, but there is a lot of information on services for the disabled, how to find long-term care living options.
Again, it may not be feasible to stay at home, even with help, so Assisted Living could be the answer. https://www.senioradvice.com/assisted-living/bellingham-wa
Offers information on dozens of facilities, including approximate costs, neighborhood locations, low-income housing, pet friendly housing and nursing homes. Many assisted living facilities have dining areas, social activities, exercise classes and may have medical staff onsite. They are only recommended if you don’t need 24-hour care.
Nursing homes are for people who need the highest level of care, including help with medications, mobility, incontinence, and more medical attention than assisted living. The website above lists nursing homes, or just google “nursing homes” for lots of websites.
If computer searching isn’t your thing, Bellingham also has an “Area Agency on Aging” office at 600 Lakeway Drive. Call them at (360) 676-6749 for more information on housing, transportation, disability programs and much more.