Assisted living typically consists of a small apartment with services that may or may not cost extra. An estimated 733,000 people in the U.S. live in an assisted-living facility as of 2010, according to the American Health Care Association’s National Center for Assisted Living. Call them adventurous, call them picky, but some people are venturing outside the stereotypical assisted-living facility. Some options that have received positive reviews: Going abroad for long-term care; building a cottage in a family member’s backyard for the older adult to live; cohousing in a development with a private home, but shared common facilities like a kitchen; and cruise-ship living. Such options come with their fair share of research, legwork and background checks. It could require some negotiation with a long-term-care insurance provider to pay for such alternatives, but newer policies have language about covering “alternative plans of care.”

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