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The Right Senior Living Service for Your Loved One
Every community or care home is different, so it is important to understand what each offer.
Types of Senior Living
Assisted Living Community
Assisted Living provides a safe, somewhat supervised environment for people who want assistance with meals, housekeeping, laundry, transportation as well as support with activities of daily living, commonly called ADLs. This can include one or more of the following: dressing, bathing, grooming, and toileting. Medication Management is an important service offered in Assisted Living. Assisted Living also will provide opportunities for socialization, engagement, and activities.
Memory Care Community
Also called memory support, memory care communities offer many of the amenities and senior living services provided by assisted living but typically offer more supervision and a greater amount of caregiver involvement when providing assistance to a resident with ADLs. Activities and care are geared toward people with varying levels of cognitive impairment.
Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
A SNF is a senior living option based on a medical model. People requiring medical interventions or who are recovering from an illness or injury can receive proper care at this type of facility. In many states, assisted living and memory care communities are not licensed to address certain medical needs such as IV therapies, feeding tubes, sliding scale diabetes treatment, and wound care. In such instances, a SNF may be the answer.
Respite usually refers to a temporary situation where either a family needs a break from providing care at home or is unable to care for their loved one at home for a limited amount of time. Sometimes a brief respite opportunity can help a family caregiver regroup, take time for some self-care, or simply for rest and rejuvenation. Policies for respite vary from community to community.
Residential Care Homes
Sometimes called personal care homes, these facilities are typically private homes with far fewer residents than in an assisted living community. Regulations vary from state to state; the common denominator is the homelike environment, and depending on licensing requirements, residential care homes often provide assisted living level care as well as memory support.
Independent Living is ideal for active, independent people who may find that meal preparation, housekeeping, and laundry services will make their lives more enjoyable and manageable. Many independent living communities will offer some assistance with transportation and group activities as well.
Hospice is the stage of care when curative strategies have been abandoned. Someone with a chronic illness in later stages or who may be within six months of end of life is a good candidate for hospice. Hospice provides support not only for the person needing care but also bolsters the entire family by helping with grief and bereavement services, spiritual support, symptom and pain management, and more. Hospice can be a wonderful relief for families during an emotionally significant but sometimes difficult time.