With our growing senior population, community lifestyles are becoming a popular choice for adults of retirement age. Full-time care is also a common necessity for aging parents when they can no longer live alone. Yet, with so many options available today, it can be difficult to know what kind of lifestyle is best for you or your loved one.
If you’re considering moving to a senior living community, the first step is to determine what kind of care you or your loved one needs. Are you searching for an active, retirement community that caters to an adventurous lifestyle? Are you looking for a place that will ensure Mom takes care of herself as her dementia progresses? Do you suspect you’ll need health care services in the future? The answers to these questions will help you decide what care lifestyle is right for you.
TYPES OF SENIOR LIVING & CARE LIFESTYLES
Independent Living (IL) – Independent living (also called retirement living) is for people of retirement age who can still live independently but desire the social opportunities and carefree lifestyle that a community provides. Independent living communities provide accommodations, amenities, services and programs that cater to the 55+ population and promote active senior lifestyles and opportunities.
Assisted Living (AL) – Assisted living is for seniors who can no longer live independently without support for one or more daily living activities (dressing, grooming, walking, managing medications, etc.). Leading assisted living lifestyles offer the same amenities as independent living communities, along with assistance from professional healthcare staff as needed.
Memory Care Assisted Living (MCAL) – Memory care is the ideal option for loved one’s with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia or memory impairments. Memory care communities offer secure environments that allow residents to live as independently as possible while receiving support from professionals specially trained in dementia care. Memory care provides engagement activities and programs designed to give residents opportunities for social interactions and meaningful tasks, as well as promote cognitive functioning.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) – For those whose care needs are more extensive and require constant professional care, a skilled nursing facility can provide the support they need. Skilled nursing facilities are recognized by Medicare as a type of nursing home that meets the long-term healthcare needs of individuals who have the potential to live independently after a period of skilled nursing care. Residents are cared for by a team of professionals, including nurses, physicians, therapists and rehabilitation specialists.
Short-Term Rehabilitation (STR) – Short-term rehab provides healthcare services for individuals recovering from a surgery, illness or accident. Residents work with professionals specializing in physical, occupational or speech therapy to achieve maximum functioning so they can return home safely without recurring hospital visits.
Long-Term Care (LTC) – Similar to the care provided in a skilled nursing facility, long-term care provides support and care services for seniors who need daily help due to a chronic condition. Long-term care residents usually require ongoing care and assistance with dressing, bathing, eating, ambulation, using the bathroom or managing their medication.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) – A CCRC is a senior living community that offers a range of care levels and services, from independent living to skilled nursing or memory care. CCRC’s give seniors the added benefit of remaining in one place throughout their retirement years, even if they require new or changing care services. Residents and their families have more peace of mind knowing that their needs can be met at the community they know and love.
In addition to CCRC’s, some communities offer various levels of care, for example, independent living may also offer some assisted living services. Since we usually can’t predict how much care we’ll need as we age, communities with some care continuum are a popular choice among seniors.
Once you know what kind of care lifestyle you’re looking for, you can start to think about the services and atmosphere that might fit your particular tastes. Every community offers something different in regards to style, so it’s important to thoroughly research your options. The level of care a community provides is just the beginning of the list of lifestyle choices they have to offer. Consider other aspects, such as:
- Care style – Do staff take individual needs into account? Can family be involved with their loved one’s care? Do staff only help as needed, or do they check in on residents daily?
- Programs and activities – Do they offer engaging options for leisure and recreational pursuits? Do they have attractive amenities, such as a gym, park, pool or lounge?
- Dining – What kinds of dining experiences do they offer? Are there options?
- Environment – Is the location ideal? Are surroundings pleasant and comfortable? Does the style fit your tastes?
This list goes on, but these considerations can help you get started down the path to find the care lifestyle that’s right for you. Once you have some ideas about what you want in a senior living community, it will help you narrow your search for the ideal lifestyle.
CONNECT WITH US!
55Living is your resource for retirement lifestyles and care. Contact us today to learn how we can connect you to the region’s best senior living experiences. Call 866-846-6272.