Are you looking for a place to live for you or your aging mom, dad or a relative? You have a confusing number of senior living option, care options, plans, care levels and payment issues. When we talk of retirement living in a senior care facility, Assisted Living will be the first option coming to our mind. However, Assisted Living means different things to different people. It is widely used to represent a range of senior living options, though it specifically meant to represent one type of senior living setting.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted Living is one of the popular long term living options for seniors additional service needs. The assisted living communities are similar to retirement living communities, but offer much more services and care options including Medication Management. Care givers will be available 24 x 7 to support the residents’ requirements.
The assisted living community residents can choose a wide array of personal services and service plans customized to suit their specific health and living style requirements. Also, many assisted living communities may include other service options known as memory care (aka Alzheimer’s care or Dementia care) in the same facility in order to service a wider range of senior population.
When seniors need assistance in their day to day living, but do not need the level of skilled medical services to the level offered by skilled nursing homes or hospitals, then they may opt for Assisted Living Communities.
Assisted Living Communities do offer some level of medical care such as rehab services and medication management, but they do not provide full fledged skilled nursing services. Most facilities can personalize the care levels for each resident depending on their specific requirements such as mobility, transportation, personal services (such as grooming, feeding, bathing, etc.).
Seniors are encouraged to maintain their independence and freedom to move around and involve in day to day living activities and social activities.
Assisted Living Communities are known differently in different states. CBRFs (Community Based Retirement Facilities), and Residential Care Homes are basically assisted living facilities.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are much larger facilities which include assisted living option. CCRCs will also include independent living, skilled nursing care and memory care within the same campus.
Generally assisted living communities will have month-to-month or yearly lease agreements with the residents. However, some assisted living communities offer short term stay (from a few days to few weeks) too. This is known as Respite Care or Short Term Care as the caregivers (typically family members who take care of the senior) can attend to their personal work, take a much needed vacation or just take a break from the routine to re-energize themselves.
Financing Assisted Living
Assisted Living is not covered by medicare. Hence financing assisted living needs advanced planning to make care payment arrangements through long term care (LTC) insurance or private pay.
What is Senior Living?
Senior Living represents a much wider range of living and long term care options for seniors. The following could be bundled into this category:
- Independent Living / Retirement Living
- Assisted Living Communities
- Dementia Care / Alzheimer’s Care
- Skilled Nursing Homes
- Residential Care Homes / CBRFs /Adult Day Care Centers
These communities are also known as senior care communities since they provide additional services (both medical and non-medical) as necessary. Note that some communities might one or more types of above services within the same premises.
What is In-Home Care?
In-Home Care refers to a range of medical and non-medical care and services provided at the residences of seniors by Home Care agencies. In other words, the services are brought to footsteps of the seniors’ homes by the care giver staff employed by Home Care (or Home Health Care) agencies.
Home Care Agencies also provide specialized services such as Alzheimer’s care, Dementia care, Diabetes care and Hospice care.
In-home care is an option for seniors who need assistance in their day to day living but do need skilled nursing services and would like to live in the comfort of their own homes.
In this website, we are focusing on resources for those searching for assisted living options for elderly persons.