Deciding to move to a senior retirement community is one of the biggest decisions you make. It can be an exciting time, but it can also cause some confusion when it comes to choosing which type of community is best for you or your loved one. People have different needs. Living options are not “one size fits all.”
To help you find the best fit, this article explains the main types of senior retirement options, including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and continuing care retirement communities.
Independent living facilities are apartment style homes that allow a person to maintain complete autonomy. This type of facility is a very good option for those that can still do everything for themselves but need contact with other people – and less isolation than living at home alone. Senior independent living facilities usually have on site staff members that provide minimal supervision. Independent living facilities also offer activities and services for residents, ranging from tennis and swimming to fine dining and hair salons.
Assisted living facilities are designed to help those that have difficulty caring for themselves to the extent that they can no longer live in their own home. These facilities are staffed 24 hours a day. Employees are trained to assist residents with their needs and provide supervision. A typical person living in an assisted living facility may need help managing medication, bathing, or getting dressed. While assisted living provides residents with assistance with the activities of daily living, they do not provide round-the-clock skilled nursing services.
Skilled Nursing Centers
For round-the-clock medical supervision, Skilled Nursing is the way to go. Skilled Nursing facilities are designed to house and assist individuals who have health conditions that require constant monitoring and the availability of medical personnel. Because of the high level of monitoring that skilled nursing facilities provide, they are staffed with medical personnel 24 hours a day. Skilled nursing facilities provide an invaluable service to those that have medical problems that require constant medical monitoring and/or high levels of assistance.
Senior Memory Care Communities
Caring for those who have dementia requires special expertise. Alzheimer’s and dementia careãcommunities represent a special form of assisted living, with housing, supportive services and care to those who have varying levels of dementia. Staff members are carefully selected and trained to understand and manage the unique challenges associated with dementia care. Physical and behavioral issues as well as life history are key factors in creating daily routines and service plans for residents. Memory Support Centers provides daily structure seven days per week to help maintain the resident’s abilities and encourage the use of their remaining skills.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs, provide a place where seniors can live, socialize and receive they care they need, while knowing that they can remain in the same community should their care needs change in the future.
A CCRC setting is one that will be able to accommodate you or your family member’s needs now, as well as in the future – all in the same community. If their need for care increases, a person who chooses a CCRC will be able to remain in the same community setting, but get Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing or Dementia care, while keeping the same neighbors and living in a familiar setting.
This means that the ideal living situation is one that can provide for an individual’s current and future needs while allowing him to maintain as much of his independence as possible.
Carol Cummings is a RN and Certified Wellness Coach at Brookdale Senior Living. She shares her knowledge and experience at Brookdale’s Optimum Life Blog. Brookdale Senior Living has a full spectrum of senior living communities throughout the United States, including Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Centers and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Residences. Find a Brookdale Senior Living Community near you at http://www.brookdaleliving.com/.
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