There are many senior living options available, each with varying degrees of care. But how do you know which one is right for you or your loved one?
Senior living options typically fall into three categories: senior living communities, options for aging at home, and medically-focused senior care facilities. And each option has several different possibilities to meet your unique needs and preferences. Let’s take a look at each one, and how you can decide if it’s right for you.
1. Senior Living Communities
A senior living community is a senior living option that offers three different senior living options, allowing residents to transition smoothly through levels of care based on their needs. Seniors who join a senior living community like St. Anthony’s are looking for a relaxed, comfortable retirement in which they can trust their needs will be met as they enjoy a close-knit community of fellow seniors.
Independent living is ideal for seniors who do not require any specific physical, medical, or memory loss support with their day-to-day life but are ready to downsize and seek a more amenity-rich lifestyle. Independent living residents enjoy access to special events and social activities, restaurant-quality dining, spacious apartments, and access to a full suite of on-site amenities from fitness centers to salons to valet parking.
While still living the active, independent lifestyle they enjoy, residents of independent living can lighten the load with benefits like housekeeping, landscaping, and easy access to healthcare, all in a comfortable gated community.
When seniors require additional care, they are ready to transition to assisted living. In assisted living, residents can still enjoy all of the amenities afforded to independent living residents, but with the added support of having extra physical needs tended to.
In assisted living, seniors can get the support they need with various activities of daily living (ADLs), such as mobility, dining, bathing, and incontinence care in a specialized care plan designed specifically for each individual. This gives residents as much autonomy as possible while providing the care they require each day.
Memory care is a more intensive level of assisted living that focuses on supporting seniors with a memory loss illness. The goal is to provide a safe and familiar environment where residents can still enjoy flexibility and autonomy as caregivers respect and honor the dignity and legacy of the whole person. Memory care is an ideal senior living option for seniors requiring care due to dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Memory care is not always needed immediately upon diagnosis — and that’s another benefit of senior living communities! If a senior receives a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, moving into a senior living community’s independent living or assisted living facility can ease the transition until the time comes when they need memory care.
2. Aging in Place
“Aging in place” is a senior living option for older adults who prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible. It may involve renovations to make a home more livable as they age, such as walk-in tubs and showers or remodeling to have everything you need on a single level. You may also need to consider hiring extra support for maintaining your home, such as landscaping and housekeeping.
Care needs still tend to change as you age, so it’s essential to have a plan to manage these needs when aging at home. Determining possible care needs can also help you decide between staying at home or moving to a senior care facility.
Seniors who are aging in place may require home care if they struggle with ADLs or require medical assistance. Depending on the level and type of care needed, these services can be provided by a personal caregiver or a skilled nurse.
If a loved one tends to provide a senior’s primary care, respite care can give the friend or family member a break as needed. Respite services can include ADL support, transportation, skilled nursing care, or simple companionship and supervision.
3. Alternative Senior Living Facilities
While senior living communities are generally the best option for providing the needed levels of care and support in a relaxed and engaging environment, other senior living facilities may be a better fit in certain situations. Here are a few other senior living options to consider:
Similar to aging in place, a retirement community gives seniors the independence of having their own home, but downsized and in a neighborhood of fellow seniors. These communities may include services similar to independent living, such as housekeeping and landscaping, but typically don’t have the same on-site amenities. In short, it’s an age-restricted neighborhood with some light amenities.
Residents of nursing homes often require 24/7 care for various physical and medical needs, including memory loss. While meeting the same care needs as assisted living and memory care facilities, nursing homes tend to be more clinical, with smaller resident rooms instead of the spacious apartments offered at senior living facilities.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Though similar to a nursing home, and sometimes found within the same facility as one, skilled nursing facilities are for seniors with temporary care needs due to a fall or accident. These facilities act as a transitional step between hospitalization and returning to their regular living situation. Residents of assisted living communities may move to a skilled nursing facility for a time if they need more intensive aid with physical, occupational, or speech rehabilitation.
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Senior living communities like St. Anthony’s offer the best of all worlds, giving residents independence and autonomy with all the support they need readily available. Care support is entirely customizable for each individual’s needs, and it all takes place within a loving, caring community of tender-hearted staff and like-minded residents who are basically like family.
Interested in learning more about senior living at St. Anthony’s? Contact us to schedule a tour of our beautiful community in Kansas City!