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Senior Living Options for Older Adults Explained

June 7th, 2020 12:00am

Senior Living Options for Older Adults Explained

Numerous housing and other living options are available for seniors. Older adults and their family members can select any of these options after considering various factors like the senior’s physical and mental health conditions, budget, home care needs, and mobility. If you are looking for a senior living option for yourself or your loved ones, this article could help you find the right senior living facility.

    1. Types of senior living options:

       - Age-restricted retirement communities

This kind of living communities has a specific age criterion. The most common type of accommodations offered by such communities is apartments. However, some age-restricted living communities have housing options like a condo, a single-family home, or even a townhouse. An individual can either buy a home or look for a renting option. 

 

This living option is ideal for older adults who require little or no assistance in performing their daily chores. 

       - Assisted living

Assisted senior living is a housing option for older adults who do not need 24/7 medical assistance but do need help for carrying out simple chores like bathing, changing clothes, laundry, etc. People living in such accommodations might have a private or semi-private bathroom and bedroom, but do share other areas of the facility, including the dining room. The assistance and facilities provided by assisted living to their residents include laundry, housekeeping, meals, transportation for doctor’s appointments, exercise, and recreational activities. 

Some facilities even have onsite entertainment venues, salons, and beauty shops and even provide pet friendly options. Lots of additional options are available under assisted living for seniors category. 

       - Independent Living Communities

These senior retirement communities are ideal for older adults who are physically and mentally capable of living independently and want to live with people of the same age bracket. Seniors get the chance to live in a maintenance-free house, which they can furnish as per their likings. Some of the facilities provided by these communities are pools, fitness centers, security services, community centers, meditation/ yoga facilities, etc. 

Generally, independent living communities do not have 24/7 health care facilities, but residents do have the option of purchasing these services either from the same site or from outside. 

       - Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

CCRC is a combination of various living options for older adults. These communities have assisted living, independent senior living, and nursing homes all on the same campus. With time, the caring needs of the older adults changes, thus the residents can shift from one facility to another depending on their present requirements. It is an ideal living solution for seniors who are capable of living independently now but might require additional care or assistance in the future.

Services and facilities vary from one community to another. However, some of the essential functions include:

    • Laundry

    • Housekeeping

    • Maintenance of house and garden(if any)

    • 24-hour security

Other facilities :

    • Pool

    • Exercise facility

    • Golf

    • Tennis

    • Art classes

    • Other recreational services

       - Alzheimer’s/Memory Care

Alzheimer’s and Memory Care communities are two different living options for seniors. Instead of being an independent living option, memory care is generally a dedicated unit in nursing homes, CCRC, and assisted senior living facilities. In some cases, they may even be a separate facility dedicated to looking after the needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

Besides having trained staff that look after the security and other requirements of dementia patients. Any older adult who has dementia or other related mental disorders should consider this living option. Some of the services provided by these facilities are nursing and medical care, therapies, and several other activities that aim at helping dementia patients to live their life peacefully.

       - Nursing Homes

This living option is ideal for older people who need 24-hour care and attention. Services provided by nursing care:

Medical and nursing care

    • Personal care services 

    • Bathing

    • Dressing

    • Laundry

    • Toileting

    • Eating

    • Therapies

    • Physical

    • Speech

    • Occupational

    • Social activities

       - In-Home Senior Care

In the initial stage of the senior years, many older adults want to continue living with their family members. In such cases, the ‘in-home senior care option’ could be a perfect choice. The services provided by these facilities are:

    • Basic health check-ups

    • 24-hour in-house nurses

This senior living option is quite useful if the care needs of the older adults range from low to moderate. With an increase in the level of care required, the charge associated with these facilities also increases. 

The significant drawback of this kind of living option is the risk of over-burdening of the caregiver. To avoid such situations, the family may opt for adult daycare centers along with the ongoing care services. If the older adult’s physical or mental condition worsens or they start feeling depressed, isolated or losing mobility, then maybe it’s time to consider retirement or other senior living options. 

2.  What are your senior housing needs?

While selecting a senior living option, it is vital to consider your present needs as well as those needs that you might require in the coming years.

      - Physical and medical needs

Today, you might be physically and mentally fit to live an independent life. However, in later years of your life, you might need assistance to carry out various activities, including your daily hygiene or personal care chores. This might include cooking, eating, washing utensils, laundry, shopping, moving around, or even bathing. With growing age, you might also require medical care. This may be issues related to bones and joints, heart-related problems, etc.

      - Social and emotional needs

The social and emotional needs of an individual keep on changing at the various stages of the life cycle. The golden age is no exception. At this age, seniors might have to live alone because of their spouse’s demise or busy schedule of kids. 

Staying at a senior living facility would provide new opportunities for socializing. Also, many facilities conduct activities like music classes, meditation, yoga sessions, etc. to meet individual emotional needs.

      - Location and accessibility

You might be fit to live an independent life. However, the situation might not be the same with growing age. Hence, thinking about the viability of your location and accessibility is worth your time. You need to check whether your house has too many steps, or the garden is too big to be maintained. Also, how far is the market or medical facility from your home? 

      - Financial needs

Updating your house to meet your needs along with long-term care expenses might cost you a fortune. Hence, selecting a senior living option as per your needs and budget is very crucial.

3. How to choose the best senior living option:

Some tips that might help you find the perfect senior living option for yourself or a loved one are:

     -Do your research

It is better to do thorough research about the types of living options available near you and the facilities and services provided by them. Visit the facilities that you like and check things like monthly or annual costs, services offered, security, culture, etc. This would help you in making the right decision.

     -Talk about expectations for daily life

How you want to spend your days at the facility plays a vital role in your decision. The expectations of a senior who wants to be an active member of the community and take part in various activities and events would be different from someone who wants to live in a peaceful environment. 

     -Talk to a doctor

Before finalizing a senior living option, talk to your doctor. Take his opinion and check if he has any concerns related to your health or mobility.

     - Sit down with a financial advisor.

Different living options have different costs associated with them. Consult a financial advisor and discuss your current financial status and check whether the option selected by you would be financially viable or not.

 

 
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