Independent Housing

Planning Where to Live

Now is the time to think about your changing needs and their effect on where you will live. You may want to stay in your home, move in to a new residence or even move in with friends or family.

It may be less stressful to move into a new independent living situation before it becomes urgent. Some options include a single-level home, a condominium, an apartment, or a retirement community.

The topics covered on this page include:


Independent Living Options

Things to think about in a new independent living situation

Look for safety and accessibility features to meet your needs if you become less independent. Consider a single-level dwelling, accessible condominium or apartment, or a retirement community that provides support services such as transportation and housekeeping.

Before you decide to move, also consider:

  • Your home’s value
  • How much equity you have
  • The advantages of buying versus renting with any related tax and legal issues
  • Whether this will be a short or long-term move


  • Living with others often involves moving in with an adult child. Sometimes part of the first floor can be made into a suite or a private apartment can be added.
  • Sharing a home with non-family members is growing in popularity. Several programs match homeowners with tenants. The programs look for different generations, draw up rental agreements and settle possible disputes.
  • 55+ active-adult communities
  • offer resort-style amenities but no support services. Some require that you buy a home or condo. Others offer rental housing.
  • A village is a community that links neighbors together to help one another stay in their homes. Members pay an annual membership fee to bring support and services into their home. Volunteers often provide those services.
  • Retirement communities and senior apartments are for individuals who can live on their own. However, they may want services such as maintenance, housekeeping and group dining.
  • Government-supported housing is for mature adults and those with disabilities with limited incomes and assets. Some facilities also provide meals, transportation and social programs. Waiting lists are common.

Visit the Explore of the MAP website to learn more about housing options that offer more support.

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Aging in Place

What to consider if you stay in your home

Most people plan to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Some important things to consider include:

  • The condition of your home and how much it will cost to maintain
  • How accessible your home would be if you become less independent
  • The cost of modifications should you need them
  • The availability of long-term services and supports in the area

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Modify Your Home

Some changes may need to be made to your home for you to continue to live independently and safely. Changes range from adding assistive technology to much larger projects such as making structural changes. Some common types of home modifications include:

  • Adding grab bars
  • Adding ramps
  • Replacing twist-water faucets with levers
  • Changing to door handles instead of knobs
  • Converting a downstairs room to a bedroom
  • Widening hallways

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Energy Assistance

The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) can help qualified households with assistance with their for their energy bills and make their energy costs more affordable, and help with the prevention of loss and the restoration of energy service. This will prevent loss of service, and restore turned off home energy service. Qualified households may apply for electric bill, heating bill , and electric assistance.

There are three ways you can apply:

  1. In Person: Customers may apply in person at their local OHEP agency.
  2. By Mail: Customers may submit their application and required supporting documentation via mail to their local OHEP agency. Customers may request an application by calling 1-800-332-6347.
  3. Electronic: Customers may submit an application online here. Customers must separately send into their local OHEP agency all supporting documentation to demonstrate eligibility.

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