Is renting better than buying for seniors? What do you think?

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This is a personal opinion, based on what has happened to my family. (I'm a real estate agent in Florida). My father passed away last year, and we moved my mother in with me in September of 2012. I really wish she would have been renting at the time. The house needed a lot of repair and we had to sell it for what she thought was "too low", but she didn't have the time or money to put back into it. Mom will be 81 in January. (We lived about an hour away from each other, so it was a pain to get the house ready to sell.). It was a nightmare, they were what I would call, "organized hoarders". She had a ton of credit card debt..and after dropping down to one social security check, she could no longer pay for repairs, the pool man, the lawn man, insurance, property association dues, property taxes, etc.
It all really boils down to the amount of money the senior has, their health, and the money that they want to continue to put into a place if they buy it.
Sadly, regarding health, there is no crystal ball that can predict what may happen to a senior. If there is family involved that may take that senior in one day, then I'm all for renting. If that senior is already at an advanced age, and is looking for a mortgage, I'm all for renting. If they have all kinds of money, and energy for their age, then buying may be the way to go, if they can get a great deal, and the resale would be easy and profitable.
Luckily, mom's home is sold and all we have now is a vacant lot to deal with. What little money she received from the house is put away for her for her monthly respite care.

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