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Choosing the right senior-housing option for your loved one

By Lee Ann Newman

Today, in 2023, there are over 50 million seniors in the United States. Statics tell us that by 2040, there will be over 80 million. The Baby Boomers are reaching their golden years!

With this huge increase in older Americans on the horizon, senior housing options are continuing to expand. Gone are the days of the “scary” nursing homes. Today, we have facilities that provide all levels of care for an individual’s unique needs.

In the last 15 years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we have seen growth in all types of senior housing, and new options are being built today. Several factors have influenced the need for more senior housing: cities becoming Certified Retirement Destinations, quality medical care at local hospital and clinics, veteran/military hospitals and bases, beautiful weather year-round and a vibrant culture with museums, festivals, senior centers, sports and, of course, the beaches.

Whether they are large or small, in a country setting or in town, near the water or serene farm pastures, each facility has its own personality.


  1. Staying in place: Seniors stay in their home and receive home-based care when needed.
  2. Senior apartment community: These age-55-and-over communities give residents their independence along with security and social activities geared towards seniors.
  3. House sharing or renting a room: This option helps reduce costs and provides companionship.
  4. Senior neighborhoods: These independent-living neighborhoods may be part of an assisted-living community, where support and social connections are available.
  5. Assisted-living community: Residents live in their own apartment, where assistance with daily activities is available. Meals, housekeeping, transportation, medication reminders and social activities are provided. Assisted-living communities can be large, with over 100 apartments, or small, with as few as eight apartments.
  6. Memory care facility: A memory care facility specializes in the care of individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
  7. Skilled nursing facility: Round-the-clock medical care and rehabilitation are provided for residents with complex medical needs.
  8. Hospice: While not a type of senior housing option per se, hospice refers to end-of-life medical care in a patient’s own home or in a skilled nursing facility, memory care facility, assisted living facility, in-patient hospice facility or hospital.

Choosing the “right-fit” senior housing is a significant decision for seniors and their families. Seniors Blue Book is available as a resource to help guide you through the many choices. Our website,, offers detailed information on local senior living communities, thousands of articles on senior interests and resources for aging well. Equip yourself with knowledge as you begin your search for the ideal senior living experience.

Lee Ann Newman is the publisher of Seniors Blue Book of Southern Mississippi. Reach her at leeann@seniorsbluebook. com.

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