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When I need to move, where can I move?

Do I need to downsize?

Surveys show that when most people want to downsize, they move to a smaller single- family home or a home with one-level living. While your current home may be important to you, there are some good reasons to think about downsizing.

Downsizing might free up finances that could be used to pay for your costs of supports or services. The sale of your home could provide important financial resources to help you purchase or rent a smaller home, condominium or apartment. Downsizing might also mean freedom from home and yard maintenance, especially if you rent instead of own. 

Instead of modifying your current home, you can choose a downsized living arrangement that already has the accessibility features you might need such as elevator access, wider hallways, a roll-in or walk-in shower and other similar features.

Downsizing might give you better access to community and social opportunities. Moving may allow you to choose a home that is walking distance to these places or on public transportation routes. This may be important if you are no longer able or prefer not to drive.

Moving might allow you to be closer to family or friends whom you might rely on if you need care in the future. Moving closer to family in a housing option that is easier to maintain may be preferable to moving in with family.

Do I need to move to housing with services?

At some point it might be necessary for you to move a place where you can get more help than you can in your home. These places have different names. They can be an assisted living facility, boarding home, congregate housing setting, foster care home or retirement community. Each state defines requirements for housing and the services offered there. In Minnesota, we refer to these places as Registered Housing with Services settings.

In these settings you rent housing and buy home care services.  A single company may provide both the housing and the services or the building may have an arrangement with home care agencies and other companies to provide some or all of the services. In Minnesota, the facility is registered and the home care must be licensed.

While registered housing with services settings vary in size, services and costs, they share a common philosophy. Each person makes informed choices about where they want to live and what kind of help they want.

Some of these settings have an additional designation as assisted living that offer 24-hour services and supports to their residents. In Minnesota, providers may call their facilities assisted living only when they meet basic requirements under Minnesota Statutes (chapter 144G).

While most assisted living facilities provide a private apartment-like unit, some may have more shared living space and group arrangements. The cost of care in these settings depends on the kinds of services you need and the types of amenities they provide.

Compare the cost of staying home and receiving services in your home versus moving and the monthly fees at a new place. Some things to consider before moving to an assisted living facility include:

  • How do you feel about making a change in your living situation?

  • Will the setting require you to share some of the living space such as living room, dining room with others?

  • Can you afford the type of arrangement that best meets your needs?

  • Do the benefits of having support and services nearby outweigh the loss of some privacy and control?

Minnesota has developed the Uniform Consumer Information Guide to help you find the housing and service setting that best matches your needs. The guide is organized in a way that helps you compare housing, services and costs. It is designed to help you choose a housing option that meets your needs. But you will need more information before you make a final decision. Be sure to visit the places you are considering and ask to meet with a staff person one-on-one to discuss your specific needs and preferences. 

Next: Advance care planning


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