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Senior Housing
General Information

The decision for a senior to stay at home or move is often one of the most painful experiences an older adult and his/her family must face. Declining health, lower monthly income, and deteriorating physical conditions of the home all influence the decision making process.

For additional information, visit the following pages:

In-Home Services:
PASSPORT |  Senior Options

Adult Foster Home Certification

Assisted Living Waiver Program

Residential State Supplement Program

For further information or
a list of senior housing facilities, call the
Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging
(614)645-7250 or (800)589-7277

Franklin County Office on Aging's Housing Handbook

When deciding to move, take time to inventory those things that are important to you, such as:

  • Living near family or friends.
  • The availability of supportive services, such as; assistance with eating, bathing, grooming.
  • Access to public transportation or on site parking.
  • Pet policies.
  • Facility access to shopping, banking or pharmacies.
  • Access to community facilities such as; hospitals, doctors or other medical professionals.
  • Is the senior facility in a safe neighborhood, or does it have a security service?
  • What is the cost of living in the facility? Are additional services added onto the cost?
  • Can the facility meet all of your needs or only some?
  • Is my family supportive of my decision?
  • Have I reviewed all available options to stay at home?

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Housing Terms

ACCESSORY APARTMENT:   An apartment built into a single-family home, with separate kitchen and bath, and often a separate entrance. Such secondary units can provide rental income to older homeowners, or allow older persons to live independently, but close to family or friends.

ADULT CARE FACILITY (ACF):   A licensed housing facility which provides accommodations and supervision for 3 - 16 unrelated adults, at least three of whom are provided personal care services. The Ohio Department of Health licenses facilities in the State of Ohio.

Adult Family Home:   An adult care facility (ACF) which provides accommodations to 3 - 5 unrelated adults, supervision, and personal care services to at least three individuals.

Adult Group Home:   An adult care facility (ACF) which provides accommodations to 6 - 16 unrelated adults, supervision, and personal care services to at least three individuals.

ADULT FOSTER HOMES:   A residence which will provide accommodations, supervision and personal care services to 1 - 2 unrelated adults. The COAAA certifies Foster Homes in those counties under its jurisdiction, in accordance with rules for certification established by the Ohio Department of Aging.

ASSISTED LIVING:   A housing facility that may combine apartment-style living with supportive services, designed to help older adults live in an independent setting for as long as possible. Assisted living units may include private bedrooms, cooking areas, bathrooms, lockable doors and individual temperature controls. Supportive services include: housing assistance;(meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation) personal care; (assistance with walking, bathing and dressing) routine nursing services; (administration of medications, special diets and certain dressing changes that may need to be provided within the current scope of the law), service coordination; health monitoring and specialty providers. The Ohio Department of Health licenses facilities as Residential Care Facilities in the State of Ohio. COAAA administers the Assisted Living Waiver Program for central Ohio.

BOARD & CARE:   A broad term used around the country to describe a home which provides shelter and services to an unspecified number of residents, usually a private home operated by the owner, in contrast to a boarding house (room). Board and care homes usually provide "care" for the residents; if personal care is provided to residents in Ohio, the facility is required to be certified or licensed.

CONGREGATE:   Independent rental housing facilities in which "hotel" services are included in the monthly rental fee and lease agreement. Services usually include a meal program served in a congregate setting with other residents, and may include housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and other services, but not supervision or personal care.

CONGREGATE HOUSING SERVICES PROGRAM (CHSP):   A HUD program designed to provide personal care services to residents of qualified independent housing facilities. The program is limited in size and residents are required to pay 10% of their income towards the cost of care.

CONTINUING CARE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY (CCRC):   An accreditation given to a retirement community that typically contains a number of different living arrangements from independent to skilled. CCRC's often require the payment of an entrance fee or endowment in exchange for a promise of continuing care to the resident for a prescribed period usually the life of the resident. CCRC's will arrange for nursing care or provide it on campus.

COOPERATIVE:   An independent living facility owned and operated by a non-profit organization for the benefit of the occupants. Co-op members: buy shares in the corporation in exchange for the right to occupy a unit, participate in the activities of their corporate management, and build equity in their shares. Their share of the costs determines rent.

DEFERRED PAYMENT LOANS:   Loans to older homeowners, which do not have to be repaid until a specified date, or, usually, until sale or transfer of the property.

ECHO HOUSING (ELDER COTTAGE HOUSING OPTIONS):   A small, pre-built, freestanding housing unit placed on the side or rear yard of an existing residence. ECHO units are typically installed for a parent or relative and removed when no longer needed. (Local zoning regulations often prohibit the use of these units in urban settings.)

HOME FOR THE AGED:   A home which provides accommodations, supervision and personal care services, or all, as well as the administration of medications, supervision of special diets, other than complex therapeutic diets, for three or more unrelated adults (residential care facility). It also provides personal care services and skilled nursing care for at least three other unrelated adults. The portion of the home, which provides skilled nursing care, must be licensed as a nursing home.

HOME EQUITY CONVERSION:   A term referring to a variety of plans designed to help older homeowners use the equity in their homes without requiring them to move. The three main types are sale-leaseback, reverse mortgages, and deferred payment loans.

HOME MATCHING:   A program which identifies, screens, and matches individuals interested in providing chores and/or companionship in exchange for affordable housing with older homeowners seeking to share their homes.

HUD (U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT):   Federal department that provides information, funding, technical assistance and enforcement of federal housing development programs. Programs include rental assistance, mortgage insurance, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME, Section 202 (Elderly Housing), and others.

MHA OR PHA (METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY OR PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY):   Operated by a board of directors appointed by local and state officials, MHA's receive funds from the federal and state governments to develop, manage and operate public housing and subsidized housing units within their jurisdiction. Public assistance, Social Security, SSI and retirement are the major sources of income for tenants occupying these units.

NURSING HOME:   A facility licensed by the State Health Department to provide, for a period of more than twenty-four hours accommodations to three or more unrelated adults who are dependent upon the services of others, including personal care and skilled nursing care.

RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITY:   A facility licensed by the State Health Department to provide accommodations for 17 or more unrelated adults, supervision and personal care services for three or more of those residents; or accommodations, supervision and personal care services for three or more residents, and any authorized skilled nursing care to at least one resident.

RETIREMENT COMMUNITY:   A grouping of housing facilities for older adults which includes multiple levels of living options, including; independent, congregate, personal assistance, and in some cases skilled nursing care. Residents may or may not pay an endowment fee to obtain services to suit their changing needs. Facilities are often arranged in a campus setting and are similar to CCRC's but lack the accreditation.

REVERSE MORTGAGE:   Reverse Annuity Mortgage (RAM) is a special mortgage where a lender makes monthly payments to the homeowner in an amount based on the age and health of the homeowner, the term of the loan, and the value of the home. Payments may be for a set period or for as long as the live in the home. Other plans offer cash payments, a line of credit so the homeowner has the money when they need it, or a combination of all. In most plans, the owner retains title to the home, and need not repay any of the money until sale or transfer of the property. A Reverse Mortgage is not considered as income when considering eligibility for most benefits because it is a loan.

SALE-LEASEBACK:   An arrangement in which an older homeowner sells their home, relinquishing responsibility for taxes, repair and upkeep, but continues to live in it, paying a rental fee which is usually less than the income from the sale.

RSS (RESIDENTIAL STATE SUPPLEMENT):   A state program that provides an income supplement to eligible low-income persons to reside in a certified or licensed residential care facility. Homes must be certified by the local AAA under rules developed by the Ohio Department of Aging, or licensed as ACF's or Residential Care Facilities by the Ohio Department of Health. Individuals must also be at a protective level of care, that would require them to need assistance with some activities of daily living (ADL's) but do not need 24-hour nursing care. Applicants must have no more than $850 a month in income and no more than $1500 in assets.

SHARED LIVING HOME:   A residence for up to 16 adults, with private or semi-private sleeping rooms and shared living, dining, and kitchen areas. A resident manager and other staff who provide meals, transportation, protective oversight (supervision), and other services in a family-like environment operate the facility. The Department of Health must license facilities that provide personal care in Ohio as an Adult Care Facility.

SECTION 8:   A federal rent supplement program; applicants must be a family, or individual at least 62 years old or disabled. Income limits are set by HUD, but are generally 80 percent of the area median income. Eligible applicants must pay 30 percent of their monthly income towards housing expenses. Contact the local HUD office or the Public Housing Authority for additional information.

SERVICE COORDINATION:   A federal or state funded program that provides professional services coordinators to be placed in independent senior housing facilities. Service coordinators evaluate resident needs and link residents with available community services, monitor services, advocate for residents and educate families, staff and the residents.

SUPPORTIVE HOUSING:   A general term used to describe various types of group housing that also provide assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) and other services, such as supervision. In Ohio, supportive housing can be; foster homes, ACFs, RCFs, congregate living, assisted living, CCRCs or Congregate Housing Services Programs.

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Reverse Mortgages

What is a reverse mortgage?
A reverse mortgage (RAM) is a loan against the equity in a home providing cash advances to the borrower, and not requiring payment until a future time. RAM's require no monthly payment and cannot be considered as income when determining eligibility for public benefits.

What is the difference between a reverse mortgage and a standard mortgage?
Standard mortgages (forward mortgages) are used to purchase homes. Reverse mortgages use the equity in an existing home to generate cash. In standard mortgages the borrower's equity in the home increases the longer they own the home. As the balance of the loan decreases, the home's value increase as does the equity. Reverse mortgages equity decreases as the balance on the loan increases.

Are there different types of reverse mortgages?
Reverse mortgages can be broken down into two basic types. Public sector reverse mortgages offered by state and local governments. Private sector reverse mortgages offered by mortgage companies, banks, and savings and loan associations.

Payment Options

Tenure:   Borrower receives monthly payments from the lender for as long as the home is occupied as the principal residence.

Term:   Borrower receives monthly payments from a lender for a specified number of years.

Line of Credit:   Borrower may draw up to the maximum loan amount at different times.

Modified Term or Tenure:   A combination of tenure and term that allows a borrower to receive monthly payments and maintain a line of credit.

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Notice of Public Hearing
held by COAAA
When: July 29, 1:00 p.m.
Where: 174 E. Long St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Presentation and discussion of
Strategic Area Plan 2015-18


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