If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a loved one you may be surprised to find that there are so many options. Not necessarily the services and amenities available, although there are plenty of those too, but rather the senior living care options. What’s the difference between them? Which is the best fit? And how do they compare to care at home? Let’s find out.
Your Senior Living Care Options
The different senior living care options are each designed to support specific wants and needs and range from as-needed assistance to round-the-clock care. Many communities even offer multiple senior living care options on the same campus. Here’s what you can expect from each option:
Independent Living – This senior living care option is ideal for seniors who don’t yet need assistance, but who want to spend their days enjoying their interests and passions instead of dealing with chores and household responsibilities. As such, independent living focuses more on lifestyle than care. Amenities may include home maintenance, housekeeping, restaurant-style dining, concierge services, a fitness center, transportation, and a full calendar of social events, activities, and enrichment opportunities. Our luxury apartments offer 26 floor plans from which to choose.
Assisted Living – With this senior living care option, you’ll find amenities and social as well as enrichment opportunities similar to independent living. However, assisted living differs in that it also offers assistance with daily tasks like bathing and dressing as needed, while providing an environment that empowers residents to live as independently as possible. Our communities offer 24-hour staffing and onsite health specialists who support each resident with a personalized care program, all in an inviting, home-like setting.
Memory Care – Designed just for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, this senior living care option features staff specially trained in memory care, 24-hour support, and a safe, yet comfortable setting. Because dementia affects the entire family, it requires a uniquely flexible care plan that not only supports the specific needs of the resident but also gives peace of mind to families. Our memory care program offers enrichment activities as well as fitness and social opportunities that help residents to make the most of life as well.
Skilled Nursing – As a senior living care option, skilled nursing is the most intensive. Here you’ll find round-the-clock and/or specialized care such as treating wounds, intravenous (IV) therapy, injections, and catheter care as well as medical management of chronic conditions. Although it’s primarily a medical setting, we offer a personalized experience with stimulating social and recreational activities in addition to dining services and a range of amenities.
Comparing Senior Living Care Options to Home
To compare, it’s important to understand what at-home care encompasses. There are typically two options. The first is home health care which is provided on an as-needed, hourly, or 24/7 live-in basis. Services typically include personal care, household chores, cooking, and transportation as well as occupational, physical, and speech therapy. The second is adult daycare which provides care during normal business hours, five days a week with services that may include meals, snacks, and health monitoring as well as fitness, enrichment, and social activities.
While at-home care gives family caregivers a break should they need to work, go to school, manage other responsibilities or just have some downtime, they’ll still have to manage caregiving with other responsibilities which can become even more challenging, and costly, as care needs increase. In addition, while at-home care offers the comfort of being able to remain in a familiar place, social isolation as well as lack of exercise, and malnutrition are risks when care is provided intermittently at home. Not to mention, updates to the home may be needed to ensure it is safe and accessible, and you’ll also have to continue to keep up with home maintenance and repair which is all taken care of for you in senior living.