When you, or a loved one, reach a certain age and begin experiencing cognitive or mobility issues, it could be time to look into senior living. Senior living may conjure up negative, stereotypical images but actually, it describes a broad, social community. There are many types of senior living options; here is a guide to help you choose the right one for your needs.
Short Term Care vs Long Term Care
Short term care can last anywhere between a couple of days to a few months. It is suited to seniors who are recovering from surgery, an injury, or an illness, and can help them transition from ill health back to their usual, healthy disposition. Adult day care, or respite care, is a short term option. This option can also be chosen by family members who look after loved ones on a permanent basis. They may require these services when they are away from home temporarily and cannot look after their elderly relative.
Long term care is ideal for people with a progressive disease or condition, and who require extra help in the long term. Independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities are all long term options.
Independent living is best suited for seniors who are able to perform everyday activities autonomously and enjoy their independence. Residents have their own personal space but benefit from being part of a larger, social community of older people. Seniors can socialize with others and partake in various activities in the community. Loneliness can have a major impact on older people in terms of mental health. By choosing independent living, you can reduce the risk of social isolation. Residents also have access to healthcare professionals, should they require their assistance.
Assisted living facilities offer residents an extra level of care with skilled staff who are trained to help with activities of daily living (ADLs). This can include personal care, taking medication, and shopping. Seniors have access to medical professionals to ensure they stay in tip-top condition. Residents are also part of a wider community and can participate in social activities to enhance their quality of life.
Memory care units are designed to offer specialized care for people with memory-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Residents benefit from assisted living services, such as help with ADLs and access to medical professionals. In addition, memory care units tailor their service to each resident and focus on developing and maintaining cognitive functions.
Skilled Nursing Facility
A nursing home, or a skilled nursing facility, is an option for individuals who require 24/7 supervision with everyday activities. Older people in these facilities often have debilitating illnesses and are unable to look after themselves.
Aging in Place
Aging in place describes a situation where an individual lives at home, or with loved ones. This is the option many adults choose, and it is suitable for people who require little assistance in their everyday life. People who choose to stay at home may rely on family members with some ADLs. Furthermore, in-home caregivers can be employed for additional care if needed.