Understanding assisted and independent living for senior citizens can help families understand their options. This retirement community combines affordable housing with access to services and amenities that can be adjusted as your needs change. Assisted living communities assist with daily activities, including preparing meals, bathing and showering, dressing, transportation, and more.
Assisted living provides help with bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, daily meals, housekeeping, programming, and 24/7 staffing. Residents typically pay a monthly fee, which may include the cost of their apartment or room and care services. Generally, Medicare does not cover assisted living, but long-term care insurance policies may. Caring for a loved one at home can be expensive and stressful. If you notice that your senior is losing weight, eating poorly, or neglecting their hygiene, these are warning signs that they need to consider moving into a caring community.
A key benefit of assisted living is the social life it offers seniors. They’ll live among peers who have similar interests and can engage in activities that foster community. This is especially important because loneliness can lead to depression, health complications, and dementia. A community like this will offer them a fulfilling, hassle-free lifestyle where their care and safety are taken care of.
Independent living is famous for relatively non-disabled seniors who want to live in communities designed with older people in mind. These communities can range from apartment complexes to stand-alone houses and offer various services. Some of them are also subsidized for low-income seniors. Many independent living communities provide social group activities, such as card games and mahjong, to encourage socialization among residents. Some also offer exercise classes and personal training sessions to help keep residents physically healthy. In addition, they usually have a dining room where residents can enjoy set meals.
These facilities typically have rules requiring residents to be over 55; some may require spouses to reside together. The monthly fees vary, including maintenance, housekeeping, programming, and daily meals. Some residents pay for these services out of pocket, while others use long-term care insurance or state home and community-based waivers to cover their costs.
If your senior loved one needs help with the activities of daily living but does not require the round-the-clock health care that a nursing home provides, assisted living might be an option. Many seniors who choose this community have long-term care insurance policies, which can pay most or all of their monthly fees. Skilled nursing is medical care or treatment that a licensed nurse or other healthcare professionals can only provide. It is typically offered through a home healthcare agency, an assisted living community with an on-staff nurse, or a skilled nursing facility that offers 24/7 nursing care.
Memory care communities are designed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. They usually offer around-the-clock supervision and specialized services to help with daily tasks like bathing and dressing. They also have secured indoor and outdoor spaces to minimize the risk of dangerous wandering.
These facilities have a higher staff-to-resident ratio and are designed to meet the social, health, and safety needs of people in memory care. They are specially equipped with amenities that make activities more accessible for people with dementia, such as memory boxes and enhanced lighting.
While discussing senior care options with your loved one may be challenging, having regular conversations can help you prepare for the future. It can also ease the stress of the situation when it comes time to move your elderly parent into assisted living or another form of senior care. Taking a step-by-step approach can also help reduce anxiety for everyone involved.