Understanding Different Housing and Care Options

When determining senior housing costs, your first step is to decide which type of housing your loved one needs. There are a wide range of options and care services available for senior living:

retirement communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities – CCRCs are organizations which require an entrance fee that provides individuals a combination of housing options, accommodations, and health care services, depending on the level of care needed. A retirement community is a great option for individuals looking for a more independent living situation, but who still want some assistance with minor daily activities and access to various programs. Retirement communities are typically restricted by age, often 55+, and offer a range of different options for residents.

This option offers housing packages that allow individuals access to numerous senior housing options, including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, and more. This option is ideal for those who may need to adjust their living situation over time, as it is easy to transfer to another housing type.

assisted living

Assisted living communities or homes are an option for seniors requiring supervision or assistance with their activities of daily living (cooking, doing laundry, getting dressed, using the bathroom in the middle of the night, and other activities.This should be viewed as a long-term option for seniors who need or want assistance with various daily activities.

Assisted living communities provide the highest level of independence while living in a care setting. They provide health and social programs, and access to medical services when necessary they are also the most diverse in terms of what they include and accept. Some assisted-living facilities operate like a resort, and some are more regimented for the protection of their resident’s health and mobility. Some provide medication management and individual meal preparation, while some provide options to subscribe to these services for an additional expense.

Services Offered may Include:

  • Bathing, Dressing, Grooming, Toileting and or incontinence care (ADLs)
  • Transfer assistance
  • Supervision with walking
  • Activity program
  • Transportation for shopping, medical appointments and outings
  • Generally, 3 nutritious meals are provided daily
  • Flat linen laundry services weekly
  • Light housekeeping weekly
  • Daily medication management
  • Wellness nurse for oversight and if needed, to set up medical appointments
  • 24-hour supervision or care when and if needed
memory care

These communities are a distinct option for those who have been diagnosed with a memory impairment, such as Alzheimer’s, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other dementia. Memory care is specifically designed to provide 24-hour supervision to those who need frequent redirecting or may wander. The caregivers are specially trained to deal with issues related to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementias.Memory care communities are unique because they have locked doors rather than just alarmed doors when exiting, thus preventing folks from being able to leave when they want. This is important in consideration of behaviors that often occur as a result of having dementia and Alzheimer’s like wandering, sundowners, exit seeking, etc. When handling someone that suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Services Offeredmay Include:

  • On-site caregiver 24/7
  • Staffed trained to work with Dementia patients
  • Secure environment
  • Personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming)
  • Toileting assistance
  • Specialty meal plan and dining support
  • Life enrichment programs
  • Housekeeping, laundry
  • Transportation
  • Medication management
nursing home

Skilled nursing homes, more commonly known simply as nursing homes, are one of the most popular senior housing options. The main difference between skilled nursing facilities and other, more independent types of senior housing options is that they offer 24-hour medical care. Skilled nursing homes have medical professionals, including nurses, doctors, and other practitioners on staff.Nursing homes provide the highest level of care and are appropriate for those requiring 24-hour medical support and supervision, such as severe diabetes, breathing issues requiring 24-hour medical support, extreme obesity, wounds and pressure sores.

Services Offeredmay Include:

  • 24/7 skilled nursing care
  • Physician care plan oversight
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Chronic disease management
  • Toileting assistance
  • Medication oversight
  • Pain management
  • Hospice and palliative care services
  • Life enrichment activities
  • Transportation services
  • Restaurant-style or in-room dining
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
independent living

Independent living communities offer seniors all the benefits of an apartment-style home without the responsibility of daily chores or upkeep. These types of communities are appropriate for seniors that can manage their daily basic living needs on their own. Most communities offer an assortment of services, ranging from one or more meals per day, housekeeping, laundry, apartment maintenance, and transportation services. This is generally a good option for seniors that want interaction and socialization with other seniors, and don’t need daily care assistance. In many cases, the cost of rent includes various recreation& wellness programs, transportation services, a range of leisure activities, beauty services, and other amenities.

Services Offeredmay Include:

  • Home maintenance and repairs
  • Lawn care, trash pick-up and snow removal
  • Variety of dining options
  • Variety of life enrichment activities and outings including golf courses, tennis courts, etc.
  • Housekeeping, laundry (may be an add-on service)Weekly housekeeping
  • Swimming pool
  • A Main Building or Club House may provide restaurant style dining at a cost
adult day care

An adult family home is licensed to providehousing and care for up to six adults in a regularhouse specially retrofitted in residential neighborhoods. Theadults who live in adult family homeare not related to the operator, reside and receive care, treatment or services that are above the level of room and board and that may include up to 7 hours per week of nursing care per resident. Some AFHs allow pets. In some homes,multiple languages are spoken. They may be a great option for seniors that want to enjoy socialization and the personalized care of a small staff without sacrificing their freedom.

Services Offered may Include:

  • Personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming)
  • Medication reminders and management
  • Intermittent Nursing Care (A Nurse Available on a Part-Time Basis)
  • Toileting assistance, if needed
  • Restaurant-style dining
  • Life enrichment programs
  • Transportation services
  • Wellness programs
  • Caregiver on-site 24/7
in home care

In-home care is supportive care provided in your home. This care is also sometimes referred to as companion care or non-medical in-home care. Non-medical in-home care providers may help with dressing, bathing, grooming, meal preparation, transportation, medication management, companionship and light housekeeping.

Home health is typically a service that includes skilled nursing and is provided by a registered nurse, occupational therapists and physical therapists. You can do physical therapy, occupational therapy, meet with a registered nurse, and have your blood drawn, etc., all in the comfort of your own home.This is a great option for a lot of people and many times insurance companies support and promote this as it costs significantly less than a skilled nursing facility.

Services Offered may Include:

  • Personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming)
  • Medication reminders and support
  • Housekeeping, laundry
  • Menu planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation
  • Transportation assistance
  • Errand support
  • Companionship and socialization
respite care

For those who provide care themselves 24/7 but need a break occasionally.Respite services can provide enormous relief for families and caregivers who need assistance caring for a loved one with a disability. Though many people enjoy caring for their loved ones who have a developmental or physical disability and do not consider this care a “burden,” the emotional and physical consequences can often become overwhelming. Respite services can involve an in-home caregiver or care provided at a dedicated facility and can, in either instance, greatly benefit family caregivers, individuals, and the family.

It allows caregivers to:

  • Visit with friends and family members
  • Spend quality time alone relaxing
  • Tend to their own personal needs, schedule appointments and run errands
  • Rest easy knowing their loved one is in good hands
  • The senior also benefits by being able to:
  • Enjoy a change of scenery
  • Make new friends
  • Participate in educational and social activities that challenge their abilities
hospice care

Hospice Care primarily focuses on enhancing an individual’s quality of life, managing symptoms and providing the opportunity for an individual to spend his or her last days (often less than 6 months) with dignity.Palliative care is part of that, but it’s just one part.Hospice care brings together a team of people with special skills—among them nurses, doctors, Pharmacists, social workers, spiritual advisors, Bereavement support, and trained volunteers. Everyone works together with the person who is dying, the caregiver, and/or the family to provide the medical, emotional, and spiritual support needed. A member of the hospice team visits regularly, and someone is always available by phone—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.It can be offered at home, nursing home, inpatient hospital, assisted living facility, or in an inpatient hospice facility.