There are ways for seniors who need some type of assistance to continue to live in their own homes, according to Ilene Rosenthal, chief of housing and continuing care for the Maryland Office on Aging.
"Most seniors will tell you that their goal is to be able to stay in their own home," Ms. Rosenthal said. "And the people who manage to do so do it through a combination of in-home services, family support, friends and neighbors. For every person in a nursing home, there are two people in the community who are in exactly the same condition."
Seniors may be eligible for in-home assistance with bathing, dressing, housekeeping and meal preparation as well as nursing care. Other available services include home delivery of meals and visits by volunteers. When shortage of income is a problem, there are home sharing services which will match up homeowners with potential boarders.
Seniors who are having difficulty moving around in a home may be able to hire a contractor to make it barrier free. And such renovations can possibly be financed by a reverse mortgage, which allows the homeowner who is short on cash to draw on the equity in his home.
There are also housing options which help seniors to continue to live in the community even if they can no longer stay in their own homes. There are 250 or more apartment projects throughout the state which provide subsidized housing for seniors with low to moderate income, Ms. Rosenthal said.
About 40 of these projects offer senior-assisted housing where people who need help with personal services, meals or housekeeping can get it. There are also group homes for people who need full-time supervision but not medical care.
For information about services and benefits for seniors call the appropriate Senior Information and Assistance office listed below:
# Anne Arundel County
Annapolis (800) 492-2499
Baltimore City (410) 396-1341
Carroll County (410) 876-3363, 875-3342 or 848-4049
(410) 838-2552 or 879-2000
Howard County (410) 313-7212