Preplanning and Considerations when Choosing a Place to Live
There are many choices to consider when an individual or family is trying to identify a place to live. Additionally, based on a person’s specific circumstances, there are certain elements that may be a necessity, or a need, that must be looked at before identifying the best home for the individual.
For example, Greg may want a ground floor apartment because he likes to look out at the birds and squirrels by the window. This is a choice. Mary may also want a ground apartment because she is in a wheelchair and this is an accessible apartment. This is a need.
What is the ideal home setting? There are lots and lots of right answers, depending on the person. The ideal home setting is different for everyone.
Below are some major choices that need to be considered. The choices can be ranked from must have/most important to least important/just nice to have. Each one of these ideas may have parts that you like and parts that you don’t like. You will need to decide what part is most important to you.
Location, location, location
- Near services and places such as; public library, post office, police, court house, EMS/Fire or hospital
- In a community where important businesses and services are within walking distance.
- An active, activity rich, resource filled city
- A quiet suburban street
- Rural area without many neighbors
- Metropolitan (bus line, no outside work, walking distance)
- Near Railroad tracks or a major freeway
- Near schools: University, Community College, or Grammar Public/Private School
- Near a Park
- Near a religious denomination
- Near a major grocer/market or party store
- Bicycle route, sidewalks, pedestrian walkway
- Near relatives/supports/friends or Away from supports
- Nightlife atmosphere/a controlled atmosphere/industrial localities
- Mall or shopping plaza
- Near financial institutions
- Paved street with snow removal and access for EMS
- Not near a busy street
- Not near lakes, ponds, rivers
While choices are nice and important, consideration must also give to needs, which are sometimes non-negotiable. If the needs of the individual are not met, it can make the housing options challenging and may make the living situation ultimately fail. Some issues to consider include:
- Near bus line
- Near stores
- Wheelchair accessible/Zero Step entrance/Universal Design/Barrier Free
- No stairs
- Americans Disabilities Act Standards compliant
- Own vehicle access or SMART bus route
How does the person get from here to there, how far the commute is, and what resources we need will play a great deal in the location choice? It cost more and more each year to get to places we visit regularly. So when choosing where one is going to live in is important to know and consider how one will get to all the places they like to go. Are you going to have your own car, get driven to places by others, or use the bus system? The places we visit most and how we get there and the cost must be considered. Here are some of the more common destinations:
- friends, relatives
- work and jobs
- places of worship
- Hospitals and doctors
- Grocery store and Pharmacy
- Social and recreations locations
Help meeting the costs of living
Does the person need help with the costs? Here are some of the choices to make housing more affordable:
- Roommate to share costs
- Subsidized housing to help pay part of the rent
- Relatives may help pay some of the costs
Do I need help to live independently in the Community?
- Do I need a roommate to share staff so we can put our staffing resources together and have them go further?
These are the major choices and needs for housing a person may have other needs and choices not listed here and may need to be added to this list.