Senior housing can take many forms, including senior independent living and assisted living communities, Alzheimer’s and dementia care homes, residential care homes (also known as board and care), and skilled nursing facilities.
An assisted living community for seniors provides care for individuals who need some help with activities of daily living, yet who wish to remain as independent as possible. These senior living communities bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes. Residents in assisted living communities aren’t able to live by themselves, but they don’t require constant care. Medical care is limited in an assisted living community and each state sets its own limits. Residents are assessed when they move into the community so the community can develop an individualized service plan to ensure that the senior get the best care possible.
There are about 33,000 assisted living communities in the United States. The number of residents living in a community can range from a few up to 300, with the most common size being between 25 and 120 individuals. Each community offers different levels of care and charges varying rates. The communities range in size from high rises to classic Victorians. Rooms vary from studios to one and two bedroom apartments with kitchenettes.
Residents may suffer from memory disorders, various diseases, or simply need help with mobility, incontinence or other challenges. Assisted living is appropriate for anyone who can no longer manage to live on their own but doesn’t require medical care.
Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community
Facing the difficult task of selecting a senior assisted living facility for your loved one can be an emotionally stressful situation. You will want to ensure you find a community that will treat your loved one with compassion, respect, and dignity. It is important to take your time with this decision. With the right help, it’s possible to enhance the quality of life of your family member as they face the challenges that come with the aging process or a health issue. Because there are many options in assisted living facilities, you will want to take the needs of your loved one into account to ensure they are placed in the best possible assisted living community for their needs.
Things to Consider When Selecting the Right Community
The most common types of assisted living facilities include:
- Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE)
- Memory Care Homes (Alzheimer’s and other Dementia)
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
- Independent Living Communities (IND)
- Assisted Living Communities (ACL)
- Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)
Each type of facility will provide a specialized level of care based on the needs of these types of patients and residents. If your loved one needs very little assistance, you may consider a residential care assisted living facility. This type of home will offer the ability to remain as independent as possible while receiving the care needed to remain healthy and safe. These facilities are ideal for seniors that wish to avoid the responsibilities that come with remaining in their own home, but still are able to live on their own.
Patients with Alzheimer’s or other dementia will require a specialized level of care offered at assisted living facilities dedicated to these illnesses. With a staff that understands the unique challenges of these conditions, your loved one will be cared for with dignity and respect when you select a Memory Care community that specializes in Alzheimer’s or dementia care.
Skilled nursing care facilities are for patients in need of a higher level of care. Seniors with significant health problems, mobility issues, and other challenges will receive a higher level of care when placed in a skilled nursing facility. For up-to-date information consider following Senior Care and Nursing Homes Tomorrow podcast.