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Expanding senior housing options & opportunity


How Reverse Mortgages Can Help Seniors Age In Place, Part 2

Whether an older person is considering housing alternatives in the near term, or planning ahead with an eye on possible future needs, it makes good marketing sense for reverse mortgage professionals to become familiar with the range of senior living arrangements available, which will maximize your reverse mortgage marketing efforts.

Over the last decade, the options for senior housing have broadened as the older population has expanded, and more attention and resources have been redirected towards eldercare services.

While most people hope to be able to remain in their own home as they grow older (see How Reverse Mortgages Can Help Seniors Age In Place/Part 1), there may come a time when one partner needs more support. Of course, the good news to share is that, if a couple previously opted to remain in their home and initiated a reverse mortgage, the reverse mortgage will stay in effect as long as one member of the couple continues to live there.

The scope of choices for senior housing and residential care includes:

  • Villages. The phrase “it takes a village” once applied to raising children; with the explosion of the elder population, it’s the newest concept for the other end of the life spectrum. Villages enable seniors to remain in their own homes with access to specialized programs and services, such as household help or transportation, for an annual fee. Villages are an ideal target market for reverse mortgage leads.
  • Independent Living: Also known as a retirement community or senior housing, Independent Living refers to a residence in a community of seniors who dwell in small, easy-to-maintain, private apartments or houses within a cluster. The minimum age used to be 62; now “active adult communities” often welcome new residents at 55, when many people are still working. Typically, independent living communities provide assistance with outside maintenance, but no onsite medical care. These residents may also be an excellent resource for reverse mortgage marketing.
  • Assisted Living: Assisted Living refers to a residential facility for people who need some help with medication reminders or personal care. While there is daily contact with supervisory staff, medical care in an Assisted Living facility is minimal.
  • Nursing Home (Skilled Nursing Facility): People requiring extensive medical care (such as after a hospitalization) often move into a nursing home. This does not necessarily indicate a permanent decision to leave one’s primary residence, however. One 96-year-old woman needed 24-hour care after she fell and broke her hip, and was placed in a skilled nursing facility after leaving the hospital. When she was able to return home, she hired a full-time attendant. Since her time away from home was under one year, she retained her reverse mortgage with no penalties.

In Part 3 we’ll look at services that can help seniors remain at home as they age.



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  1. Amara,
    I’m glad you pointed out that the senior housing options don’t provide medical care. I talk with people all the time who assume that they do and that it’s included in the rent. While the senior housing sites can meet the needs and be the choice of some, I want people to make their decision based on the facts. Thanks for sharing.

    I do want to point out that the reverse mortgage only works on a home that is owned. Here in MN, Independent Living Communities are generally rented apartments, not owned by the residence.

    Thanks for your good explanations on the housing options!

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