Assisted Living Options for Young Adults with Disabilities

Where to Live When You Don't Need a Nursing Home

Young cerebral palsy patient
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For a young adult with disabilities, living at home alone isn’t always an option. Changes in your health or medical condition may take you from living well on your own to needing some assistance to perform daily activities. Whether you're young or old, there are a variety of housing options to choose from when considering assisted living options. Also, some types of housing arrangements can be funded in whole or in part by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance.

Care at Home

Some people with disabilities can live in their own homes or apartments but need help with certain activities like cooking, cleaning, and shopping. When there are no family caregivers or other volunteers available, outside assistance is necessary. Home healthcare agencies are a resource that can provide these services.

Depending upon the needs of the individual, Medicaid may cover these costs. Medicare will only pay for these services based on specific criteria, including which parts a patient has additional coverage for (i.e., Medicare Part C).

Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are also known as a second unit or “in-law apartment.” These are apartments exist within a primary house or apartment and have a separate living area, kitchen, and bathroom. These units provide a private residence for friends or family members to live independently, but close enough for a loved one to provide daily care as needed.

If you're interested in building an ADU within an existing home, be sure to check with local zoning boards.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities vary greatly from location to location, and so do the services they offer. Some common services include assistance with daily care, meal preparation, and transportation.

Residences may be an apartment, a shared dwelling, or separate, one-floor dwellings within a larger community of similar buildings.

Some facilities provide onsite healthcare services, while others offer transportation for residents to their offsite medical appointments. Most assisted living facilities are not funded by Medicaid or Medicare.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) provide progressive care as a person's condition progresses and they need a higher level of care. The resident may live in an assisted living area of the community and then move into the nursing home area of the community when they need a higher level of care.

The contracts of CCRCs usually require that residents must use the nursing home care area of the community if they ever need this level of care. Residents usually pay a large down payment and a monthly fee. Be sure to look for an accredited facility if you are choosing this type of care.

Subsidized Housing

Subsidized housing, in some instances, offers additional services to disabled and elderly residents. Services may include room cleaning, laundry, and shopping. Typical subsidized housing is often found within apartment complexes.

The housing is for individuals who have low to moderate incomes, and the rent is based on a sliding scale. State and federal programs usually help to subsidize the rent for residents.

Boarding Homes or Group Homes

Boarding homes are for individuals who need more care than living at home by themselves, but they aren’t quite ready for a nursing home. A boarding home or group home may provide bathing, assistance with dressing, housekeeping, meals, and transportation. Depending upon location, these homes may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid; otherwise, other state and federal programs may provide assistance with covering the cost of staying in a boarding or group home.

More Assisted Living Options

To learn more about assisted living options in your area, contact the following organizations in your state or county:

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