Senior Housing

5 Types of Senior Housing

Caring for senior relatives is a full-time job, especially when their health declines and they need attentive care. It’s times such as this when you’re faced with making tough decisions based on your loved ones’ needs. Finding the right type of senior housing can seem a bit overwhelming for both parties involved. There are many types of living arrangements and they all meet different needs. Consider the type of care that will be needed and make arrangements to visit these establishments. Take your elderly relative with you so she won’t feel left out in the decision making process. Transitioning can be pretty hard, just have compassion and patience when dealing with these matters.

  1. Independent Living: Independent living communities are designed for seniors who want to maintain an independent lifestyle while enjoying the benefits that a full service community has to offer. Generally you have to be at least 55 years old to qualify for this type housing arrangement. Housing accommodations vary based on the senior’s needs and his financial situation. Subsidized housing is offered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and is available to seniors with a low income. Gated communities, condos, townhouses, cooperatives, and cottages are other living arrangements that can be found in independent living communities. Three meals a day in a dining room setting, transportation, housekeeping, and social activities are what’s typically offered in this type of senior housing.
  2. Assisted Living: Assisted living care falls in between independent living and a skilled nursing facility. Its housing arrangement promotes independence, but also offers assistance with activities of daily living (ADL). Dressing, eating, bathing, functional transfers, and maintaining continence are some basic levels of ADL that are addressed in assisted living housing. Healthcare professionals and trained staff are available around the clock. Household chores are performed by housekeeping, meals are cooked and served and there are plenty of social activities for residents staying in this type of setting. Living arrangements could be in a standalone building or part of a continuing care retirement community.
  3. Skilled Nursing: Housing for skilled nursing facilities offer 24-hour medical care by licensed medical professionals. It offers one of the highest levels of care outside the hospital. The layout of the facility will vary, but it is equivalent to the setting of a hospital. Some residents will have private rooms with private restrooms, while others will share a room and bathroom facilities. These types of housing communities are licensed and regulated by state public health departments.
  4. Alzheimer’s Care Housing: Housing for Alzheimer’s care is specially designed for seniors who are experiencing memory loss. The focus of the care is to provide a safe, familiar, and stimulating environment. Housing arrangements will vary depending on the establishment. There are Alzheimer’s facilities that only take care of residents experiencing this form of dementia, and there are multilevel retirement communities that offer all levels of care and usually have an Alzheimer’s unit. Residents can expect an apartment or a suite-style setting in both types of establishments with therapeutic activities given by specially trained staff.
  5. Continuing Care Retirement Community: This type of senior housing offers an entire campus of living choices that can include: private homes, independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s care facilities, and skilled nursing communities. The benefit of this type of housing is that the residents can age in a place without having to relocate as their medical needs change. While living in a continuing care retirement community, residents will have to make a monthly payment. This payment covers the rent, services, meals, amenities, and medical care. Many of these communities will have requirements to live there. These requirements may be based on age, financial assets, income, and health status.