From independent living to assisted living communities to care homes, senior citizen housing options are more extensive than they have ever been. Today, seniors have a wide variety of choices for housing as they enter retirement age.
Independent living is typically the first step for individuals seeking senior citizen housing. Independent living communities are typically either a housing development or an apartment/condo-type setting where everyone is over the age 55. They are designed for residents who are living independently, lead active lifestyles and would like the freedom to come and go as they please. Residents at an independent living community should not require any assistance with medical needs and have no serious medical or mental condition.
Assisted living is a senior citizen housing option for individuals who require help with some of life’s daily tasks such as bathing, cooking and even dressing. They are designed for seniors who do not have a chronic condition that needs constant medical attention, but rather individuals who are in relatively good health. Seniors at these communities can still live an active lifestyle, especially when the more challenging parts of their daily life are taken care. This arrangement allows seniors to live the most independent life that they can, while still getting help in the areas where they need assistance, such as with dressing, bathing or mobility.
Care homes are perhaps the most personal option for senior citizen housing needs. Care homes are residences that open up their homes for seniors that typically need some assistance throughout the day. There are usually no more than 10 residents in each home, and residents share common areas such as the living room, dining room and other common spaces within the home.
Care homes typically offer limited medical care for individuals, as this is not the main purpose of this type of senior citizen housing. Seniors who need twenty-four hour medical care would best be served in a nursing home. Care homes are similar to assisted living communities because they provide residents with assistance throughout the day.
Memory care communities are a specific type of senior housing designed for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Seniors suffering from dementia have specific needs that are best handled by specialized staff. While it is common for families to try and care for dementia sufferers as long as possible, the sooner their loved one gets into a memory care community, the sooner their surroundings will become more familiar and comfortable.
Respite care is temporary care designed for seniors who require a helping hand for a period of time or to provide a break for a family caregiver. Caring for a senior that needs constant care can be taxing emotionally, physically and financially. Respite care can involve a professional caregiver coming into the home to take care of the senior while the family caregiver takes time away, or the senior may actually stay overnight at a community for a short period of time while recovering from illness. This type of temporary care gives the regular caregiver a break from responsibility and provides opportunity for rest.
Written by senior housing staff writer