Families making important decisions about a senior loved one’s future care may decide that senior living is a good option. However, some important decisions still need to be made, including choosing the right type of senior care. Whether you’re still exploring the idea of senior living or ready to choose a senior community, these guidelines can help you make an informed decision.
Know Your Options
Senior living is a general term that covers a variety of communities. The options range from independent retirement living for active seniors looking for socialization and freedom from home maintenance to assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care.
Types of Senior Living Communities
Independent/Retirement Living Communities: The services offered at an independent living community are mainly to provide a maintenance-free lifestyle, not having to worry about home repairs, lawn care, snow removal, and trash pick-up. These communities sometimes offer dining programs, housekeeping, and laundry. A wide range of life enrichment activities, programs, outings, and events make it easier for residents to continue to live an engaged, productive life.
Assisted Living Communities: These types of communities offer a step up in services for seniors who need help with medication, bathing, dressing, and personal care. They provide restaurant-style dining and a selection of social activities, physical fitness programs, and other life-enrichment activities.
Skilled Nursing Care: This higher level of health care offers round-the-clock access to nurses. Physician oversight, disease management, professional nursing services, and several types of therapies are available.
Memory Care Programs: These programs offer 24/7 care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Benefits include specially trained staff, dementia-specific life enrichment programs, and medication management. Memory care programs also offer personal care services, dedicated dining programs, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation. Another significant advantage is a secure environment that keeps seniors with memory loss safe.
Determine Which Type of Community Suits You
Whether you or your senior loved one are considering a senior living facility, matching needs and desires to the right level of care and service is crucial.
• Independent living is for seniors who can manage primarily independently but don’t want the inconvenience of keeping up a home. They are mobile, and they don’t suffer from significant health issues. They find the social activities and the carefree lifestyle of independent living communities attractive.
• Assisted living is for seniors who need a little more help throughout their day. They may forget to take their medications or struggle to get to doctor’s appointments. They don’t require complex medical care, however, just assistance with personal needs like bathing and dressing.
• Skilled nursing care is for individuals who require round-the-clock supervision by a qualified professional. They may need help with an IV, rely upon medical equipment that requires someone there to help or have wounds that necessitate special attention.
• Memory care is for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. They need supervision and care at all hours of the day, plus a secure environment that reduces dangerous wandering.
Visit in Person and Ask Lots of Questions
Seeing a senior community in person provides invaluable insight. You and your senior loved one should make appointments at all the senior living communities you’re considering. Take a tour, get to know the people working and living there, and ask a lot of questions.
If you’d like help exploring your options, we’re happy to assist you. Please contact us today to schedule a free, one-hour consultation to discuss the situation of yourself or a loved one. We will introduce you to our services and develop a personalized plan that best suits your needs.