Considering senior living options before needs arises, rather than waiting until it is necessary and risking no availability at a preferred location, is a good idea. Choosing senior living options involves more than just selecting a name out of the phone book or calling the facility recommended by an acquaintance. In fact, doing so may result in a bad decision.
The housing choices available at senior living communities are based on individualized needs, not a one-size-fits-all living arrangement. While one senior may desire an active, independent living community, another may need a bit more care. Still other seniors may opt for a community where they can age in place in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).
No matter the type of senior housing option you desire, there are several factors to consider before deciding on the ideal facility for you or your loved one. Some factors to consider when looking at senior housing options include:
- Health needs
- Financial situation
- Location or proximity to family members
- Integrity and trust
- Socialization options
Senior Living Community Options
Independent living communities provide options for the active senior who can take care of their basic needs and desire an active, social lifestyle. Many independent living communities feature senior apartments or condos offering social and recreational activities. Most senior independent living housing is private pay only.
Continuous Care Retirement Community
A CCRC offers comprehensive services enabling seniors to stay in one community if housing needs change from independent living to assisted living or to skilled nursing care over time. A CCRC proves an ideal housing option for spouses to remain close to each other. A long-term contract between the resident and the community is often in place at CCRCs.
Assisted living features housing for seniors in need of some activities of daily living (ADL) assistance. Examples of assistance provided in assisted living communities may include help with bathing, meals, and medication management. While assisted living facilities provide support services, the specialized continuous nursing care typically provided in a nursing home setting is not provided.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled nursing facilities provide specialized care for seniors with advanced medical needs like dementia. Seniors who experience an injury that requires 24-hour specialized nursing care to recover can also rehab at a skilled nursing facility.
Seniors usually prefer to live at home as long as possible. However, the variety of available senior housing options allows seniors to age in place and enjoy their independence, feeling confident that assistance and specialized care is there when needed.