Senior Living Options
As seniors age, they and their families will start making decisions about the care and safety of their future. While each senior’s situation and needs are different, there are many great choices in housing options tailored for seniors. From independent living communities to skilled nursing care, these senior housing options provide a variety of help with daily activities, a custom level of care for each resident, and health care for those seniors who need it. Seniors and their families can explore the many senior living options and find what fits their lifestyle, location preference, and preferred amenities.
Independent Living Senior Communities
Whether you prefer single-family homes or senior apartments, independent living communities are a retirement living option for those seniors still leading an active lifestyle and looking to maintain some independence with daily living. These communities offer residents a range of amenities, from curated landscaping and home design to community centers with social events and activities. Those seniors looking for a thriving social life, a level of privacy and independence, and don’t require high levels of care will find retirement senior living communities to be a great fit for their lifestyle and the next phase of their lives.
Retirement communities come with the most affordable average cost of senior living options. Much like purchasing a regular home, independent living communities will typically allow residents to purchase their single-family homes or senior apartments. For access to amenities, lawn care, and any assistance with activities or tasks, most communities will have a fee, similar to an homeowner’s association fee. While the average cost of an independent living community is the lowest, it also comes with the lowest level of care and the least services to residents.
While each independent living community will differ, most will come with some amenities and services to residents. Since most who choose this living arrangement are still leading an active lifestyle, these communities focus on providing a stimulating and safe environment, tailored to the needs of its independent seniors.
Many senior living communities will provide a community center for residents to enjoy. These centers will often host social activities, like game nights or holiday celebrations. This gives residents a way to meet their community neighbors and invest in their social life and relationships. In addition, many will provide ways for residents to keep active, such as swimming pools and tennis courts.
The reason many active seniors decide to move to an independent living community is the difficulty with the upkeep of their home. Senior living communities will typically do their part to make sure their residents can lead happy and safe lifestyles. This comes with community provided landscaping and lawn care, maintenance teams, and management staff that are able to help when needed.
Independent living communities usually come in the form of single-family homes or senior apartments. With either of these options, communities will cater the living space design and function towards the safety and lifestyle of active seniors.
For single-family homes, many will feature single level, open-concept floor plans, flat, easy to navigate land around the community, and safety measures in bathrooms. For senior apartments, many will have elevators to seniors can avoid any stairs, open-concept floor plans, and similar safety measures in bathrooms and public spaces.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities come with the next step up in levels of care for seniors. While they still provide for a certain level of privacy and independence, this type of living facility also provides health care services and staff to assist with daily tasks.
These facilities come with a higher average cost than an independent living community due to the increased level of care and services to residents. In addition to the cost of the living space, seniors will also need to factor in the cost of any medical care they require from the facility.
Since medical care is introduced in this option, there may be support from Medicare or Medicaid to cover some costs. This would depend on the level and type of care needed and will vary with each patient.
While its residents are typically less active, assisted living facilities will still provide amenities to promote social, physical, and emotional health. In community rooms, facilities will host social activities, games, and entertainment, and some senior friendly exercise classes.
In addition, assisted living facilities will provide in-room care and help with daily tasks for residents who need it. They can provide everything from bathroom supervision to medication reminders.
Due to the increased type of care and medical assistance, most assisted living facilities are configured in an attached living situation layout. Instead of individual houses, residents will typically rent or sometimes purchase their own attached condo or room from the facility location.
Those seniors with serious health conditions in need of medical care or those in need of memory care will find their needs best met by a nursing home facility. These facilities can provide the highest level of health care services and often have a memory care facility at their location.
The cost of nursing and medical care provided at a nursing home give this senior living option the highest average cost. Health care services or the use of a memory care facility are included in the cost of nursing home care.
While nursing home care comes with a high price tag, this type of senior living option also has the highest chance of monetary support from insurance. Since a stay at a nursing home is usually caused by the necessity of health care services or a memory care facility, Medicare or Medicaid will typically help to cover some of the average cost associated with the medical care.
Nursing homes do their best to provide engagement opportunities and social activities where they can, but these facilities’ primary focus is health care. Since most nursing home residents aren’t as active and may be unable to attend events, some nursing care facilities will sponsor in-room entertainment or activities that residents can enjoy.
Due to the high level of medical care, nursing homes typically follow a hospital or medical facility like format. Most residents have their own private rooms attached to the facility that are rented for the duration of their stay.
Seniors and their families can get to know all available senior living options to make an informed decision on where what type of community will best fit their lifestyle. For those that find an independent, but fulfilling lifestyle is the next step for them, UMH Properties Inc. provides a range of 55+ living communities that feature amenities, like clubhouses, fitness rooms, lawn care services, snow removal, community gardens, and social events for community engagement.