Lifestyle and living options for today’s adult seniors are vastly different than previous generations. Today’s market provides several alternative options designed to fit a wide variety of lifestyles, living, and care needs. Below is an overview of the most common senior living options that available to today’s seniors.
If given the option, many aging adults would prefer to spend their senior years in the comfort of their own home. With the proper preparation and adaptations, this can be a viable option for some. Home safety professionals can perform a safety assessment and identify any potential risk factors throughout the home that may make a senior vulnerable to falls or other accidents. The suggested modifications are typically minor and can be easily resolved. In addition, there are health-care agencies that will provide contracted in-home services such a medication management, bathing, and general assistance on a scheduled basis. Together, these services can extend the amount of time that a senior is able to remain in his or her home.
The age-restricted communities are generally made-up of condominiums or apartments and require that at least one of the residents be of a certain age – typically 55 years or older. These communities may offer a few community-wide events but do not offer health care services to their residents.
Independent living communities offer full-inclusive apartment options designed to enable healthy senior adults to enjoy a lifestyle that includes recreational, educational, and social activities with others their age. Like the age-restricted communities, the independent living communities are often age restricted and do not offer health care services to their residents.
Assisted living facilities provide apartment-style options along with health care services to those adults who may be vulnerable living on their own or need assistance with some of the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as meals, bathing, and medication management.
Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled nursing facilities, commonly called nursing homes, provides 24-hour nursing care for those aging seniors who require more direct and frequent daily care than what is offered in the assisted living environment. Typically, the nursing home facility provide specialized care and housing based on the individual needs of each resident, such as memory care for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are unique facilities that provide aging seniors with a series of lifestyle and healthcare options progressing from independent living, assisted living, to skilled nursing care all in one community setting. As the lifestyle and health care needs of the aging senior change in time, he or she are able to remain in the familiar surroundings of their senior community.
What Living Options are Right for You or Your Loved One?
Everyone’s situation is different. The first step in determining what lifestyle and living options are best for you will be to determine your level of care needs. If you (or your loved) one are in the early stages of senior adulthood and able to manage your daily activities on your own, then you may would be well suited to age-in-place, live in an age-restricted community, or to live in an independent living community. If you find that your loved one is starting to forget or perform ADLs such as bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, or eating, then you will want review Signs for At-risk Seniors to evaluate potential risk factors and care needs that are offered at assisted living and skilled care facilities.