Senior Living Options

An elderly woman consults with her doctor and daughter about long-term care options.

© iStockphoto.com/fstop123

"Be nice to your kids -- they'll choose your nursing home" is a popular phrase that has popped up on everything from greeting cards to bumper stickers. As it turns out, kids have a lot more choices than just which nursing home to pick; now it's a question of whether they'll turn to a nursing home at all. For aging adults, the long-term care options are so varied that it sometimes f­eels like you need a dictionary just to decipher the differences between them all.

Perhaps that bumper sticker sentiment should be amended to read, "Be nice to your kids -- and teach them how to shop around." Picking the right living option for an aging person involves considering the amount of medical care that is needed, whether the aging adult in question is a loner or a people person, and how much money is available. Just as we have criteria for our dream homes, like a pool, we may have criteria for how we spend our last years, like a private room.

It's never too early to start learning about your options, so whether you're one of those kids working on behalf of an aging parent or an adult starting to wonder if the house is just a little too big for you now, read on to find out about five places that cater to aging adults.