Housing Downturn Puts Pressure on Family to Pay for Seniors’ Care

After four years of depressed home values, experts say thousands of seniors remain unable to move into senior housing because they can’t sell their homes quickly enough or for the price they need reports Kaiser Health News.

This has lead to greater pressure on families to pay for parent’s and grandparents’ placements, or to care for them themselves.

“We see people coming in much older and frailer because they’re taking a longer time to make the decision,” says Donna Taylor, executive vice president for the nonprofit Arizona Baptist Retirement Centers in Phoenix. “They don’t know how long it will take to sell their house, and in some cases they’re reluctant to sell because of the lower price.” Arizona Baptist, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), offers a spectrum of housing arrangements for seniors as they age, from independent-living and assisted-living apartments to nursing home care.


The majority of older Americans assets are tied up in their homes, but the housing downturn has made it difficult for them to sell their homes.

In Florida alone, the state’s Health Care Association estimates there are 400,000 seniors with dementia living on their own at home, with few or no services. “The U.S. has a large aging population and we do not have a long-term care plan for this country,” says LuMarie Polivka-West, the senior director of policy at association.

Housing Bust Derails Some Seniors’ Assisted-Living Care