As you or your loved ones age, there are a range of senior care living options available, which differ based on the level of care and assistance desired or needed. When considering senior living options, it is best to plan with the future in mind and consider how needs might change throughout the aging process.
There are four primary types of senior living options, which cover a spectrum of needs associated with aging—independent living, assisted living, life plan communities, and memory care.
These facilities are for those who are able to live independently, but enjoy having access to assistance when needed. An independent living facility provides a safe environment with convenient access to dining, medical care, and activities, and typically offer the options of housekeeping, meal preparation and laundry services.
A long-term care option, assisted living combines housing, support services, and healthcare, as needed, to its residents. This is a good option for those who want to be able to live somewhat independently, but have difficulty with some daily tasks and activities. Residents can receive support for a range of daily activities, from housekeeping to meal prep, as well as maintenance, laundry services, and transportation. Assisted living facilities also offer a full calendar of events, activities, and day trips for residents to enjoy. When needed, the staff can provide medication management and assistance with other daily activities like showering.
Life Plan Communities
Allowing seniors to “age in place,” life plan communities provide a spectrum of senior living services in one setting. By offering a combination of all residential care options in a single facility or campus, life plan communities evolve as the resident ages and his or her care needs change. Previously known as continuing care communities, life plan communities offer a range of services, including:
- Healthcare – such as nursing, social work, physicians, pharmacy and therapists;
- Administrative – including help with insurance and billing; and
- Lifestyle and Wellness – meal prep, housekeeping, transportation, maintenance, and socialization.
Life plan communities are unique in that they tend to offer an upscale fee with beautiful surroundings and elegant living spaces.
Also called a Special Care Unit (SCU), memory care provides 24-hour supervised care within a special wing or floor of a residential facility. It is a distinct form of longer-term skilled nursing care that caters to patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, or other memory problems.