If you need long-term care services, deciding where to live can be a difficult decision. You need to think about:

  • What services you need as part of your daily life
  • The best way for you to get the services you need
  • How to pay for the services you need
  • What sort of environment you feel most comfortable with
  • How involved you want to be in choosing and managing the people who provide your services

When thinking about where you want to live, it may help you to make a list of the things that are most important to you. You can use this list to guide you as you compare your options.

Whether to live in a facility and for how long depends on your needs and preferences. You may like living in a facility because:

  • You are familiar with the staff
  • You like the people who live there and enjoy the social scene
  • You like having easy access to resources, such as meals, housekeeping, or health care services

You may choose to live in a facility for a specific period of time, like while you are recovering from an illness or accident, or learning to manage your disability or a change in your disability. You also may decide that a facility is the best choice for you long-term. It is perfectly fine to live in a facility for a certain period of time, and then decide that you prefer to return home.

Living “in the community” means that you live in your own place and get the services that you need in your home, rather than in a facility. Some people do not realize that they can actually get the services they need, such as help with medication, cleaning, or getting dressed, right in their own home.

Some benefits to living in the community are:

  • You can live in your own home.
  • You can have more independence.
  • You can live how you want to and don’t have to follow the rules or schedule of a facility.
  • You may feel more connected to other people.

The most important thing to remember is that you get to choose whether you live in a facility or in the community.

Talk to people you can trust
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding where to live, and it may feel overwhelming. Although the decision of where to live is yours, you don’t have to make it alone. There are many resources and people to talk to who can help you understand your options and guide you through the process of deciding where you want to live.

It is important to get all the information you need to make an informed decision. It is a good idea to start by talking to the staff at the facility you live in (or are thinking of living in). Facility staff can answer your questions and help you find resources to support your transition.

To make sure you get the whole picture, you might also want to talk to someone in addition to the staff at the facility. It may be useful to talk through your options and weigh the pros and cons with a trusted family member or friend.

It can also help to talk to other people with disabilities similar to your own who can tell you about their experiences with living in the community. A good place to find someone is at your local independent living center or Self-Advocates Minnesota.

You can also talk to a neutral expert outside of the facility by calling the Senior LinkAge Line® (SLL) at 1-800-333-2433 or Disability Hub MN at 1-866-333-2466. These hotlines are free and the experts who answer the phone can talk to you about your rights and options, and help you sort through the things to consider when making your decision.