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Specialized Housing For Seniors
If you can not find the information that you are looking for, please email us.  Send your questions here. 
Information and referral services on apartments for seniors:

Prepare for long term living with Care for Elders' Take Charge.


Housing programs and services.

 

 


Call the Houston Bar Association to find out the date of the next will-a-thon clinic to help seniors prepare their wills. 

The Senior Guidance Directory is online or at Walgreen's pharmacies.  Or call (713) 529-9991 for a free copy.

A senior resource directory for seniors who want to learn about housing options in the Southeast of Houston and Friendswood.

Click here for Section 202 properties
Seniors pay one-third of their income with all bills usually paid.

Look also at tax credit apartments.

For definitions of senior housing, click here.

Harris County Housing Authority  (713) 578-2100 
For information on Harris County's Section 8 properties, ask for the Residential Specialist.
Housing Corporation of Greater Houston  (713) 880-1441 or (713) 862-8058

Housing Authority of the City of Houston  (713) 260-0701 
For information on the City of Houston's Section 8 voucher program, click here.

Many project-based apartments do not need housing vouchers, so residents can apply directly to and pay only a percentage of their income, usually about one third.  For a listing of apartments handled through the Housing Authority of the City of Houston, click here.

For other affordable rental apartments in the City of Houston, with a chart that tells rent and number of bedrooms, click here.

Home purchase downpayment assistance for seniors:
City of Houston Community Development Housing Programs  (713) 335-8527  (Currently, unavailable.)

Harris County Community Services Department mortgage Downpayment Assistance Program (DAP)  (713) 578-2087.
Apartments for seniors:

Some apartments listed are specifically designed to meet the needs and preferences of senior adults or they can accommodate seniors as well as other age groups.  For apartments that cater to seniors, who can be as young as 55 years old, click here.  The monthly rents vary depending on the type, location, size, and services offered. Some of these are HUD subsidized, as well as private pay.

 

To help you search for more apartments around Harris County, which are mostly private pay, click here

Instructions:
Check the box next to Independent Living; type Houston as the City; and select Texas from the state list; then click on the Go button.

Logo: Homes and Communities: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentThe U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has information on senior housing in the county and rural areas.

Emergency home repair programs for seniors:
Houston Junior Forum, Senior Guidance Program 
(713) 529-9991
Sheltering Arms Weatherization Program 
(713) 956-1888

 

Public Housing for seniors:

Public housing refers to rental units that are available to low-income senior adults.  The rent charged is usually no more than 30 percent of the senior’s income.  In Houston, there are sixteen public housing locations.  Thirteen of these have some space set aside for senior adults, while three are designed exclusively for seniors.  Click here for a list of public housing in Houston.

Project-Based Subsidized Housing for seniors:

Project Based Subsidized Housing are for low-income individuals, and some are exclusively for seniors.  Once in while the property offers support services such as meals and transportation.   Apply directly, in-person, to the Project-based Section 8 apartment with documentation that supports your age and income.  Under this Program, the amount of your rent is usually 10 percent of your monthly gross income or 30 percent of you income after allowances, whichever is greater.   For information on apartments with the Housing Authority for the City of Houston, click here.

For information on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program through the Housing Authority of the City of Houston, click here.
For single room occupancy (SRO) through the City of Houston, click here.
Homeless Shelters for seniors:
Emergency shelters provide immediate and safe shelter for senior adults who are homeless due to emergency financial crisis, not due to abuse, call the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, Inc. at (713) 739-7514.
Retirement Communities or Independent Living Facilities for seniors:

There are many different types of housing options available for seniors today.  Seniors are able to select a housing option that meet their individual needs, from independent living to skilled nursing care.  Some facilities allow for only one stage of life, while other facilities allow seniors to make the transition from one stage of life to another without leaving the facility. 


Retirement Communities or Independent Living Facilities allow seniors to continue living independently and can be apartment buildings, townhouses, or rooms that require little or no maintenance.  Services provided vary depending on the type and cost of the facility, and seniors are responsible for their own finances, transportation, meals, and health care.  Recreational activities are usually offered, maid service may be provided, and some meals may be provided in a community dining room.  Some facilities offer transportation to the doctor or shopping centers.  Click here.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) for seniors

CCRC’s are housing communities that provide different levels of care based on the residents’ needs, from independent living to skilled nursing care in an affiliated nursing home.  These communities are sometimes referred to as lifecare, because residents are able to move from one type of care or level of independence to the next without leaving the community.  Many CCRC’s require a large payment prior to admission and also charge a monthly service fee.  Be sure to check the quality records of the CCRC’s nursing home, because the CCRC contract usually requires you to use the facility’s nursing home.  Click here for more information. 
 
To find out about long-term care (LTC) facilities in any state and their accreditation status, click here

Assisted Living Facilities for seniors:

These housing facilities combine a level of independent living with some assistance for personal care.  Assisted living facilities offer seniors the privacy of their own bedroom, often with a small kitchen area.  Most offer three meals a day in a community dining room, snacks, laundry services, housekeeping, assistance with bathing, dressing, personal grooming, and medication supervision.  These facilities are not designed for people who need serious medical care.  Some assisted living facilities offer housing for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory loss residents.  In most cases, residents pay a monthly rent and additional fees for specific services.  Medicare does not pay for assisted living facilities.  In very limited circumstances, Medicaid will cover the cost of assisted living facilities for certain qualified Medicaid recipients.

Residential Care Homes (also known as Personal Care Homes):

These group living facilities, usually single family homes, are designed to meet the needs of people who cannot live independently, but do not require nursing home services.  These homes provide some type of assistance with daily living activities, including eating, walking, bathing, and toileting.   Some homes provide skilled nursing, rehabilitative services, or specialized care for medical illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease.  Medicare does not cover the cost of these facilities, and only a very limited number of qualified Medicaid recipients may receive some assistance in paying for this type of facility. 
 
All residential care homes in Texas with more than four residents must be licensed.   For a list of homes in Harris County, click here.

Skilled Nursing, formerly known as Nursing Homes for seniors:
These facilities are designed for residents who need nursing care due to illness or physical or mental disabilities.  These facilities accept residents for short-term recovery as well as long-term stays.  A registered nurse is on duty 24 hours a day and theses facilities offer the highest level of nursing care short of hospitalization.  The State of Texas licenses all nursing homes.

For information and reviews of hospices and palliative care facilities,
click here.
Housing for seniors:
Accessible housing that offers features that allow the disabled to live independently can be difficult to locate.  The National Accessible Apartment Clearinghouse can provide you with a list of member apartment complexes and the amenities each one offers.  Their description of each complex is detailed and includes such features as wide doorways, low vanities, ramped entries, elevators, features for the hearing impaired and much, much more.  Click here.

The Housing Corporation of Greater Houston (713) 526-9470 is a non-profit organization that develops and manages low-income housing for senior adults, the disabled, and others with special needs.  Click here to see their properties.
Social Ministry Coalitions for seniors:

Social Ministries are usually churches who provide emergency assistance for utility bills, rent, and other critical needs, if funds are available.  These social ministries also often offer lunches on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.   Some may also assist with food pantries and clothing.  Contact your local church to see if they have a program for seniors.   For other emergency resources, click here.

 

Gateway to Care is a helpful organization that coordinates social services and Meals-On-Wheels for a healthy home.

Legal
Guardianship
According to the Houston Bar Association’s Elder Law Handbook, anyone may file an application with the court requesting that a guardian be appointed for someone that is believed to be incapacitated.  A person is considered to be incapacitated if, because of a mental or physical condition, the person is unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter for himself or herself, cannot take care of his/her physical health, or cannot manage his/her financial affairs.  
 
 However, just because a person is advanced in age or hospitalized does not automatically mean that the person is incapacitated.   Once an application for guardianship has been made, the court investigates and appoints an attorney ad litem to represent the person proposed to be incapacitated and a hearing or trial is held.  If the court determines that a person is incapacitated, a guardian is appointed.  Although this guardian is usually a spouse or relative, it is up to the court to determine who is best to serve.

Guardianship Responsibilities
Becoming a guardian is not necessarily the best way to handle a loved one’s medical needs or financial affairs if he/she becomes incapacitated.  It is expensive and tightly controlled by the court.  The costs of handling a guardianship include attorney’s fees, filing fees, attorney ad litem fees, and bond premiums to be paid out of the incapacitated person’s estate. 
 
Also, the guardian must file yearly reports to the court showing all receipts and expenditures made on the person’s behalf.

Get an Advance Directive
As a loved one grows older, it is wise to choose ahead of time a relative or trusted friend who will have the legal authority to handle medical decisions and/or financial affairs if that person should become incapacitated in the future.  You should take action now to avoid having to setup a guardianship.  You do this by executing legal documents known as Advance Directives. 
 
Advance Directives include a Medical Power of Attorney, which addresses health needs, and Statutory Durable Powers of Attorney for addressing financial affairs.

Some of the above information was taken from the Houston Forum Senior Guide Book.  These books are available at Walgreen's at no charge.   
Senior Info in the News
From the University of Texas Center on Aging and News Services

Opinion: Making the most of a nursing home visit
Posted: 09/28/2004
-- "I used to be uncomfortable visiting a nursing home. Will the person I visit recognize me?  Will I be able to understand what the patient says? Will the patient be able to understand what I say?  What can I say to someone finishing a life in a nursing home? I'm not uncomfortable anymore," says an opinion column in the Boston Globe....

Report: Average nursing home cost rises to $70,080 annually
The average price of a private room in a U.S. nursing home costs $70,080 per year, or $192 per day, according to the 2004 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home and Home Care Costs.

Alaska nursing homes have the highest rates, costing an average of $204,756 per year, or $561 per day, said the report, which was released Monday by MetLife Mature Market Institute. Shreveport, LA, posts the lowest rates, at $36,135 per year, or $99 per day.

 

These 2004 findings show an increase of nearly 6% annually in nursing home costs compared to the 2003 report. The average daily rate of a private room in 2003 was $66,065, or $181 per day.

Researchers at LifePlans, Inc., conducted the survey by telephone for MetLife Mature Market Institute in July and August 2004. They included nursing homes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Bright-Colored Tableware Spurs Eating in Alzheimer's Patients
BOSTON, MA -- 09/28/2004 -- (Eli Digital) Serving meals to your long-term care residents on vividly colored plates may boost food consumption.

That's the finding of a new study by researchers at Boston University that appears in a recent issue of the journal Clinical Nutrition. The scientists found that study participants served food on bright red plates ate 25 percent more than those who ate off of ordinary white plates.

The results were even more dramatic for fluid intake, as study participants served beverages in bright red cups increased the amount they drank by 83.7 percent. The researchers theorize that the bright-colored tableware helps individuals overcome a diminished sensitivity to visual contrast, a condition common among people with advanced AD.




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