Senior living….What are the options?

Today, senior citizens have many different options for where and how they live out their retirement years. Depending on the level of care needed, options include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rest homes, and retirement communities.

Retirement communities are very popular especially in warm weather locations. There are basically 3 types of retirement communities. Active communities, Supportive Communities, and Active/Supportive communities. Each offer uniquely different living arrangements. Active communities provide only housing units with community recreational facilities. Supportive communities provide long-term care, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. Active/Supportive communities combine residential and healthcare facilities under one roof.

Retirement homes and assisted living facilities usually offer apartment style units. The amenities may vary widely but some form of healthcare is usually provided. Seniors who live in these communities typically are self-sufficient and require minimal assistance. Often times the personnel in these facilities only provide cueing and reminders to residents to take their medications, participate in activities, attend meals, etc.

Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities provide continuous nursing care to residents and are required to have a nurse on duty 24 hours a day. Over the past decade, nursing homes have changed dramatically. They focus on providing a home like environment and giving residents more control over daily routines and choices. This new focus is referred to as “culture change.” Examples of culture change include: doing away with nurses stations, decorating hallways with paintings, plants, and flowers, encouraging residents to make choices in their daily routine, extended visiting hours, and encouraging residents to decorate their rooms with furniture and personal items from home.

Depending on their physical health, financial means, and personality seniors have more options today regarding their living arrangements than they ever had it the past!


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