Housing can pose challenges for seniors

Although most Michigan seniors own their own homes, it would be a mistake to assume that is the end of senior housing problems.

Maintenance of the home, both physically and financially, presents a challenge that increases as the senior grows older. While most seniors prefer to remain in their homes among friends and in familiar surroundings, rather than move to an apartment or institutional setting, it is sometimes difficult for a senior to continue to support the home.

Both for homeowners and for renters, there is a range of options to allow seniors to live in an independent housing arrangement as long as possible.

The best single source of housing information for a senior is your Local Area Agency on Aging. They maintain up-to-date knowledge on a wide range of housing options and resources in your community.

Residential Living

Senior housing is an important issue, especially for older adults who need supervision or assistance with daily activities. Currently in Michigan, there are two licensed forms of residences: adult foster care homes and homes for the aged. Either of these settings may be called “assisted living.”

Lists of adult foster care homes and homes for the aged are available on the Department of Health and Human Services website: www.michigan.gov/mdhhs.

Unlicensed residential options exist and may also be called “assisted living.” Older adults are advised to read residential contracts carefully and to have a full understanding of costs and services before signing a contract. When choosing an assisted living environment, you should visit the home or facility, talk with residents and meet with the provider and administrative staff.

Also, consider the neighborhood, surrounding property, the cost of care being provided to you, and make sure their services will provide you with quality care.

A few things to consider include:

≤ Decent, safe and sanitary living conditions.

≤ Nutritious meals.

≤ Access to meaningful daily activities.

Home Repair

To help with home repairs, loans and grant funds

are available from several sources. Your Local Area Agency on Aging may know of resources through the local unit of government or neighborhood organization, the community action agency, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Department of Health and Human Services State Emergency Relief Program, and, in rural areas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic and Community Development Service.

Rental Lease

Michigan law allows low-income senior citizens to terminate rental agreements if they qualify and are offered the opportunity for subsidized senior housing.

Tenants who qualify must have occupied their rental unit for more than 13 months and must provide a 60-day written notice.

The law also applies to tenants who can no longer live independently. To be released from rental agreements under these circumstances, a notarized statement from a physician is necessary.

Living Transition Programs

Your local and county Area Agency on Aging has services available to assist you with the opportunity to explore a variety of living arrangements and coordinate your care and support services.

Service options available to you may depend on your income assets and whether you are currently on Medicaid or Medicaid eligible with a barrier to returning home.

For more information, contact:

≤ Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Phone: 517-373-3740

Toll-Free: 855-275-6424

(855) ASK-MICH



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