Five Different Types of Care Facilities for Seniors

If you have a family member that needs a higher level of care that can’t be provided at home anymore, there are many different types of options available.

Retirement Communities

Retirement communities are also known as senior housing or independent living communities. In these types of facilities, senior residents have full control of their daily living. To live in this type of housing, a senior must be able to bathe and dress themselves, be mentally alert, able to walk, and use the bathroom independently. The housing styles of these facilities can range from single family homes, townhouses, and duplexes to condominiums and high rises. Many of these facilities offer police and fire protection as well as social and recreational activities. These facilities also provide meals, laundry service, and transportation.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are similar to independent living communities. These facilities are usually two to three story apartments that also provide 24 hour daily living assistance such as help with eating, bathing, and using the bathroom. These type of facilities do not offer medical services. Services included in assisted living facilities include laundry service, meals, housekeeping, social activities, medication assistance, and also include security and emergency calls.

Sheltered Housing

Sheltered housing is also known as residential care facilities or board and care homes. These types of facilities are best for seniors that need help with personal and medical issues. Most of these residences have 24 hour staff and are state licenses. Seniors at these homes must be able to dress and feed themselves and use the bathroom independently. At residential care facilities, seniors eat in a communal dining room and only need moderate supervision. Seniors can live in shared apartments, studio or one bedroom apartments with private bathrooms. Services offered can include meals, laundry service, housekeeping, and social activities.

Continuing Care Facilities

Continuing care communities are also known as multi-level care facilities, lifetime communities, CCRC’s, and active adult community homes. These type of residences are the most expensive option but provide independent living as long as possible while also providing skilled nursing care and medical treatment whenever needed. These types of communities are best for couples with different levels of independence, allowing them to remain together longer. A variety of services are offered at continuing care facilities such as banks, libraries, hair salons, common dining rooms, activity centers, gyms, and swimming pools. These communities operate like campuses, with living spaces that can include cottages, townhouses, and apartments.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes typically cater to seniors that are in need of some medical assistance, seriously ill or incapacitated and may need 24 hour supervision and care. Certified nursing assistants (CNA’s) assist residents with daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom. Many nursing homes also provide rehab services. Nursing homes are also called skilled nursing facilities. Much of the reimbursement of nursing homes comes from private pay, Medicare/Medicaid, VA, and private insurance.  

At skilled nursing facilities, the staff is made up of CAN’s, registered nurses (RN’s), licenses practical nurses (LPN’s), Doctors (MD’s & DO’s), Activities coordinators, Dietary staff, Cooks, and the Administrator. Many nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities offer medical care, pain management, feeding tubes, dialysis, memory care (Alzheimer’s), physical and respiratory therapy as well as help with daily living.

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