However, there are still some important decisions to be made, including choosing the right type of senior care.
Choosing Well: Determining What Type of Care a Senior Needs
Whether you’re still exploring the idea of senior living or you’re ready to choose a senior community, these guidelines can help you make an informed decision.
First, Know Your Options
‘Senior living’ is a general term that covers a variety of communities. The options range from independent retirement living for active seniors looking for socialization and freedom from home maintenance to assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care.
Senior Living Options
Here’s what each type of senior living entails.
- Independent/Retirement Living Communities. The services offered are mostly to provide a maintenance-free lifestyle: home repairs, lawn care, snow removal, and trash pick-up. These communities sometimes offer dining programs, housekeeping, and laundry. A wide range of life enrichment activities, programs, outings, and events make it easier for residents to continue to live an engaged, productive life.
- Assisted Living Communities. These offer a step up in services for seniors who need help with medication, bathing, dressing, and personal care. They provide restaurant-style dining and a selection of social activities, physical fitness programs, and other life enrichment activities.
- Skilled Nursing Care. This is a higher level of health care, offering round-the-clock access to nurses. There’s physician oversight, disease management, skilled nursing services, and several types of therapies available.
- Alzheimer’s Memory Care Programs. These programs offer 24/7 care for seniors who have Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Benefits include specially trained staff, dementia-specific life enrichment programs, and medication management. Memory care programs also offer personal care services, dedicated dining programs, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation. Another big advantage is a secure environment designed to keep seniors with memory loss safe.
Second, Determine Which Type of Community Suits You
Whether it’s you or your senior loved one who’s moving to senior living, it’s important to match needs and desires to the right level of care and service.
Here’s a quick set of guidelines for the levels of care:
- Independent Living is for seniors who can manage mostly on their own but don’t want the hassle of keeping up a home. They’re mobile and they don’t suffer from major health issues. They find the social activities and the carefree lifestyle of independent living communities to be attractive.
- Assisted Living is for seniors who need a little more help in their day. On their own, they may forget to take their medications or struggle to get to doctor’s appointments. They don’t require complex medical care, however, just assistance with personal needs like bathing and dressing.
- Skilled Nursing Care is for individuals who require round-the-clock supervision by a skilled professional. They may require help with an IV, rely upon medical equipment that requires someone there to help, or have wounds that necessitate special attention.
- Memory Care is for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. They need supervision and care at all hours of the day, plus a secure environment that reduces dangerous wandering.
Third, Visit in Person and Ask Lots of Questions
Seeing a senior community in person provides invaluable insight. You and your senior loved one should make appointments at all of the senior living communities you’re considering. Take a tour, get to know the people working and living there, and ask lots of questions.
Your Options at Five Star Senior Living
One of the benefits of senior living at Five Star is the wide range of services and multiple levels of care available. Seniors who can manage living on their own but who prefer a lifestyle where they don’t have to worry about maintaining a home can opt for independent living.
Seniors who need more care can choose assisted living. We also have Memory Care for those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
If you’d like help exploring your options for senior living, please contact us today. We’d love to have you come by for a tour!
Find a community nearby
Five Star offers options and excellence, with 260 senior living communities in 33 states.