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Independent Living is frequently referred to as retirement communities, retirement homes, senior apartments, or senior housing. Essentially, seniors are as independent as possible in their personal care, dressing, and feeding, yet overall, independent living retirement communities offer numerous levels of service (i.e., laundry and housekeeping), as well as a sense of community regarding social events and outings. There are many different reasons why retired adults decide to move into Independent Living. Before making any specific decisions, however, be sure to explore all your options. Seek out the perfect fit for you or your loved one by considering advantages to moving to an Independent Living community.
Assisted living residences or facilities provide supervision and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). They provide coordination of services by outside health care providers; and monitoring of resident activities to help to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Assisted living is doing ‘the things we normally do…such as meal preparation, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure… with assistance. Assisted living communities range from stand-alone residences to being one level of care in a CCRC (continuing care retirement community). The physical environment of an assisted living is often more appealing to both potential residents and their families. These communities offer a more home-like atmosphere with apartment styles that typically include studio and one bedroom models.
Nursing homes commonly referred to as Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) are for those who require care around the clock and need much higher levels of medical care than those who reside in an assisted living facility. Nursing homes offer patients some or all assistance with basic living activities such as bathing, eating, dressing, cooking, and housekeeping. But nursing homes provide intensive, long-term medical care to seniors with serious health conditions in a fully-staffed, monitored facility. Many nursing homes are fully staffed with medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants (CNA) and healthcare aides. Although nursing homes are not hospitals many are stocked with medical equipment traditionally found in hospitals. Some nursing homes also have special units designated for memory care, providing care for a person suffering from Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.