Basics of Senior Living
There are at least eight categories of senior living.
Understanding the choices of living environments for yourself or a loved one is necessary for successfully maneuvering the aging process. Often families are uneducated when a crisis occurs in the health of a loved one. The immediate need then overshadows the educational process of being informed to make the best possible choices. By being educated on the various types of living arrangements for seniors you will be able to navigate more smoothly through a crisis. Below you will find a brief introduction on senior living.
Own Home or Apartment:
Often seniors have adapted to their own place whether after a downsize or in their original home. Often the home is paid in full. It holds memories, and is more than a dwelling place. For the senior who receives joy and stability from living in his or her own home, or who highly values being independent, aging in place is a priority.
Living with a Family Member:
Multi-generational homes have always been a part of our culture. Sometimes there is a natural relationship between two different family members, and living with more that one generation is a natural choice. When a senior begins to require more assistance, an adult child, or adult grandchild may want the senior to come live with them. While cultural and personal preferences and values may influence this decision, a careful weighing of pros and cons of this living arrangement may be needed. It is the right choice for many.
Over 55 Apartment or Home:
When children have grown up and left home many adults have a desire to downsize to better enjoy life. Letting go of yard work, repair, and maintenance for a smaller living place seems sensible and even freeing. After all, it is finally the time to enjoy life! In Over 55 Communities there is an opportunity to embrace and make new friends, participate in available and convenient social activities, and enjoy life to the fullest.
Some seniors want even more security and amenities than an over 55 community offers. Many Independent Living (IL) Residential Communities have not only social activities, but optional meals, and ancillary services such as beauty/barber shops. Many times this is called a retirement community, or elderly housing. Independent Living may be income based and/or be government subsidized.
Seniors who have need of assistance with the activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) often decide to be proactive with their living arrangement and may want to live in Assisted Living (AL). Assisted Living has small apartment-style housing that offers total housekeeping and in-house personal assistance (private duty services to assist with ADL’s) for an additional charge. Meals are communal, and there are planned social opportunities.
Residential Care Homes:
If a senior values more of a private, home-like community, a Residential Care Home is a good option. Another name for a Residential Care Home is a Group Home. In a Group Home there are administrators and caregivers to provide assistance to seniors who need help with ADL’s. Housekeeping and meals are provided. The Group Home is similar to Assisted Living, but smaller, and in a residential community with priority given to creating a family-type atmosphere.
Skilled Nursing Facility:
Seniors who have been hospitalized or who have chronic conditions may have need of 24/7 care by licensed health professionals including all housekeeping, medical, and social needs. Residency may be short or long term. It may be convalescent care or rehabilitative care.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities:
Some seniors want to move somewhere that can provide continual care. They recognize that life changes. A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) helps seniors who have or expect to have declining health. Seniors who have already been hospitalized or have lived in Skilled Nursing Facilities recognize the convenience of the continuity that CCRC’s offer. Planning for the future by moving to a CCRC may bring peace to a senior; they can then be assured that they can live in one place and have all their care needs met.