Growing older can be unsettling for many people, especially if there is constant anxiety about a living situation. Many aging Americans find the idea of having to live in a nursing home undesirable.

Though a nursing home may not be your first choice for a living arrangement, just know that it may not be your only choice. Fortunately, you’ve got more options than you think as you step into the rest of your life.

Here are five various alternatives to nursing homes you may have not yet thought about.

Living with Family

This option works for many people and can be an ideal situation for many reasons. You get to stay in a home that may be more familiar to you with people that will, most likely, strive to give you the best level of care possible.

This arrangement can help save money by combining living space and, possibly, income in a family. When a family’s resources are pooled together, there can be a considerable amount of efficiency in a multi-generational living situation.

Get a Roommate

Finding a roommate can help offset living costs by cutting rent and utility payments in half.  Another great thing about a roommate is that they can assist with household duties.

You can find a roommate by checking your personal network among friends and family. There are also services that can help you find a good-quality roommate. Some services, like Silver Nest, even focus on demographics like Baby Boomers and empty nesters.

Hired Help

Hired help can come in many forms and doesn’t have to be extremely expensive. There are shared-care arrangements that could work for those looking to save on money home-based help. You may be able to share care with a neighbor or relative so as to split the cost of in-home care.

Another option might be adult day care, which is a more organized version a shared-care arrangement. This care option can be found at many park districts or community facilities.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is a scaled down version of long-term care in a nursing home. It’s designed for people who are mostly independent, yet would benefit from an environment that can offer extra support in living assistance.

Assisted living gives you the choice to participate in group activities like dining and recreation with the community while helping you maintain the independence that you desire in other areas.

Improve Your Home

You may be mostly independent but might benefit from some home modifications to help with safety and mobility. Such modifications as handrails, walk-in tubs, or wheel-chair ramps can do a great deal for people wanting to remain in their home long term.

You might find that it is more comfortable to stay in your home with a few tweaks rather than go to a nursing home. It’s worth researching this option because you may find you don’t need many modifications or that they are not as expensive as you think.

Affording these Options

As you can see, there are many alternatives to a nursing home. However, some of these options do come with a cost.

You may get help with covering these arrangements with Medicaid or Veterans Administration benefits (not everyone is eligible) or cashing out a life insurance policy. But what if neither of these is available to you?

Trying to come up with additional income can prove challenging and even stressful. That is why you may want to consider a reverse mortgage to help cover the costs of living arrangements aside from a nursing home.

A reverse mortgage allows you to use your home’s equity for additional money to cover living expenses or anything else you’ll need to have a high quality of life in your later years. You can use the money however you like. That includes paying for at-home care, home modifications, or even a completely new home that better suits your needs.

Check out One Reverse Mortgage’s resource page to find out if this loan product could support living arrangements outside of a nursing home.

Aja McClanahan is a freelance writer and owner of

5 Alternatives to Nursing Homes