Many seniors will face difficult choices regarding their living situation. The need to maintain independence and community involvement as long as possible is real. It allows aging adults to remain engaged and active, build confidence, and usually results in more positive health outcomes. However, it is not a viable choice for every aging adult. If you or a loved one is approaching the time where a decision about senior living must be made, take the time to learn about your options. It can help put your mind at ease and show you which one might be best suited to your unique situation.
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Skilled Nursing Facilities
Also called nursing homes, these are often for people who need intensive medical intervention in their daily lives. Medical staff including doctors, nurses, and CNAs are often on staff and available to assist as needed. Meals and activities (social, spiritual and physical) are generally included as part of a resident’s care plan. Rooms may be private in a nursing facility, but more often they are shared with another resident. In that way, they have less of a feeling of home and more so one of a hospital.
Not everyone who goes to a skilled nursing facility will be there long term. They are a common stopping point in the care process after major surgery or during recovery from a fall. While there, you can receive regular medical care and supervision and intensive physical therapy services so that you are able to return home confident in your ability to provide for your own needs.
Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living is a little more independent, but you are not fully left to your own devices. You will likely have your own apartment or home in an assisted living facility. At the same time, you will be able to access basic medical services like help with bathing and grooming and medication reminders. You may also get help with routine household chores and cleaning. If finances are a concern, there are some programs that can help cover the costs of assisted living for low income seniors that qualify.
Independent Senior Housing
Of course, some seniors simply want to live among their peers. In this case, an independent living community may be an ideal solution. You will find services available on the premises, which can include everything from fitness classes and spa services to social activities and transportation. These types of communities usually have restrictions on the minimum age of residents and some also limit overnight visitors.
While staying in your family home may be your first housing choice, it is not always the best one. Understand your options to make an informed and sound decision so you can age successfully wherever you reside.