With so many different senior housing options available today, it’s easy to become confused about what type of retirement home will be best for your individual needs.
The term “senior living community” has a few different meanings. It can mean a retirement community with independent living apartments or patio homes, where seniors can come and go as they please. Or, it might be thought of as an assisted living community, a place for those who need a bit of daily help with some activities. Knowing the different senior housing types and the level of care available at each will help you make the best decision for you or a loved one’s future.
By planning for your future housing needs, you can help ensure you find a happy, fulfilling home environment. The key to choosing the right senior living community is to assess your current lifestyle and health while thinking about what you may need in the future. For instance, a few things to take into consideration include:
Physical Health: Are you still mostly independent, active and healthy? However, have some of the daily or weekly tasks around the house starting to become too difficult to maintain? Aging brings physical changes to your body; muscle strength, flexibility and endurance tends to decrease in our later years, making some home maintenance tasks like mowing the lawn or shoveling snow difficult.
Mental Health: Depression is common among seniors, which can lead to a lack of interest in doing activities you once enjoyed.
Social Needs: Seniors who are socially isolated face more health risks than those who are surrounded by loved ones. As you age, you might notice a change in your social support systems, with the passing of friends taking a toll on you emotionally.
Safety Concerns: One in five adults over the age of 65 suffer from a fall that leads to a serious injury, so making sure you’re able to safely live in your home is vital. You might need to make modifications like adding handrails in bathrooms or removing throw rugs and low furniture to keep you safe. Plus, consider the community you’re living in- is it safe and quiet?
Finances: Costly repairs to your home can add up when you need big ticket items, like a new roof or refrigerator.
Once you’ve assessed your current healthcare needs and thought a bit about the future, the senior housing options available to consider include:
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), or Life Plan Communities: The most comprehensive type of senior housing, CCRCs, or life plan communities, offer a true way to age in place. These retirement homes provide a full spectrum of senior health services, where you can move into an independent living apartment or patio home and as your needs change, you’ll have priority access to supportive services like assisted living or memory care support.
Independent Living Communities: These types of communities are specifically designed for seniors, usually those age 55 or older, and can include one or two bedroom apartments or patio homes. When you are still active and healthy but may be considering downsizing your current home, an independent living community offers maintenance-free, easy living with a variety of services and amenities, like scheduled transportation, daily dining options, home maintenance and weekly housekeeping, social activities and more.
Assisted Living Communities: If you’re no longer able to live independently on your own due to some chronic conditions or health issues, an assisted living community offers a higher level of care than an independent living community. You’ll still enjoy a wide array of services and amenities like that of an independent living community, but you’ll also receive assistance with daily living activities like dressing, bathing, grooming, mobility, eating, and more.
Skilled Nursing Facilities: Also known as a nursing home, skilled nursing facilities provide around-the-clock nursing services for those who need a higher level of medical care. Skilled nursing facilities often include short or long term rehabilitation services, too, to help get residents back to the highest level of independence possible.
Memory Care: Many assisted living communities or skilled nursing facilities today often have a special wing or neighborhood to offer personalized memory care and support. These communities are often more secure and provide specific programming designed to enhance the lives of those with memory loss due to Alzheimer’s or dementia.
At Concordia Life Care Community, we offer a full continuum of care to ensure your needs will be met, now and in the future. Our beautiful senior living community in Oklahoma City has a variety of residences available, with access to supportive services should you need them. Contact Concordia today to learn more or to schedule a visit.