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 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 healthcare agencies that will provide contracted in-home services like medication management, bathing, and general assistance on a scheduled basis. Together, these services can extend the amount of time a senior is able to remain in their home.
Age-restricted communities are generally made up of condominiums or apartments and require at least one of the residents to 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
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 Communities
Assisted living communities 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) like eating, preparing meals, bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, or medication management.
Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled nursing facilities, commonly called nursing homes, provide 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 provides specialized care and housing based on the individual needs of each resident, like memory care for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing care retirement communities are unique communities 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 healthcare needs of the aging senior change in time, they can 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 be well suited to age-in-place, to live in an age-restricted community, or to live in an independent living community. If you find that you (or your loved one) are starting to forget or has difficulty performing ADLs, you may want to review the signs of at-risk seniors to evaluate potential risk factors and care needs.
LivWell Seniors wishes to emphasize that you are not alone. Please feel free to reach out by clicking the phone icon located at the bottom right of the app to connect with a senior resource specialist who can share the appropriate resources when you need them.