Finding the right place for yourself or a loved one to live can be challenging and stressful. Don’t fret! There are now many senior living options available to suit each individual’s needs. That means whether your needs are non-medical companionship and assistance or you require medical rehabilitation or end-of-life care, there is a perfect fit out there. The earlier you assess those needs and how they change over time, the better prepared you’ll be when the time comes to make the change. We’ll explain the different types of senior living options available so that you’re able to make the right choice to ensure a healthy, happy and fulfilling living environment as you or your loved one ages.
Independent Living – For some, it’s important to remain independent or to stay close to friends and family. For this reason they may consider some variation of Independent Living. Independent Living is a general term used to describe any housing arrangement created or designed exclusively for seniors. Other terms that may refer to a type of Independent Living include retirement communities, retirement homes, senior housing and senior apartments. These can range from apartment complexes or condominiums to free-standing homes. In general, the housing arrangement is designed to be friendlier to seniors, including more compact, easier to navigate and may even include outside help with maintenance. Some Independent Living communities may even include recreational centers or a clubhouse with activit
ies available on the property.
If you aren’t interested in living exclusively with other seniors, there are alternatives to an Independent Living community. Consider moving in with a family member or moving somewhere more accessible. The key to finding alternative Independent Living is to be close to transportation, any services and social networks that you participate in.
Assisted Living – In Assisted Living communities, residents receive help with daily tasks including bathing, dressing, and cooking meals. There are a variety of assisted living communities, both large and small. Assisted Living ranges from large, elegant, amenity-laden communities to assistance offered within residential homes.
The amenities offered from community to community may differ quite a bit as well. Assisted Living communities offer personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet needs of residents needing help with daily activities, but not necessarily the regular help of skilled medical care. Again, the extent of medical care available in Assisted Living communities may vary. If you’re considering Assisted Living, it’s important to compare different communities to find the best fit for you or your loved one.
You may hear many different names for Assisted Living communities, such as Board and Care (B&Cs) and residential care homes or facilities (RCFEs), personal care homes (PCH), adult foster care, homes for the aged, adult family or group homes (AFH). Assisted Living is generally paid privately, meaning it is paid for by the individual or by long-term care insurance.
Memory Care – Memory Care includes any communities specializing in Alzheimer’s, Dementia or any type of memory loss care. They should provide a secure living environment for the safety of you or your loved one. Residents may live in semi-private apartments or private rooms. Daily activities specifically designed to stimulated those with memory impairment may be delivered by specialized staff.
Nursing Homes – Nursing homes are communities licensed to provide healthcare services involved in managing serious or complex medical conditions for seniors. Typically, residents of nursing homes require constant medical supervision. If you’re searching for medical care or rehabilitation after a surgery, accident or illness, a nursing home may be a good option for you.
Once you’ve narrowed down the most suitable type of living situation, be sure to do you research. Ask for a list of services and amenities when you contact various communities. Compare a few to decide which amenities are necessary for your individual need.
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