What Types of Assisted Living Communities Are There?
Learn about the various types of Assisted Living Communities and their different levels of care including Independent Living, In-Home Care, Nursing Home, Memory Care, and CCRCs.
If you or your loved one are interested in senior living options, you’ll want to research the various types of Assisted Living Communities available, including Independent Living, In-Home Care, Memory Care, Nursing Home care and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). All of these communities provide their residents with the care and support to continue living a dynamic and engaging lifestyle. Assessments of residents will help determine the level of care needed and if short-term or long-term care is a better fit.
Below is an overview of each of the common senior living community options available to you or a loved one.
Independent Living is for people that consider themselves self-sufficient, but want a safer, more sociable environment. Independent Living offers residents a convenient lifestyle with easier access to dining, medical care, entertainment and hospitality services such as housekeeping, laundry and more.
In-Home Care is best suited if you or your loved one wishes to remain at home, but needs non-medical caregiving and assistance like help with activities of daily living (ADLs). These include dressing, moving about, grooming, meal preparation, and more. In-Home Care can be a great option for people seeking either short-term or long-term care.
Assisted Living Communities are usually designed for people seeking a supportive atmosphere, but one that still gives them a sense of independence. These communities have a trained, nurturing staff to help with activities of daily living, and also offer ample social and physical activities for residents.
Similar to Assisted Living, Memory Care Communities can help you or your loved one with ADLs like bathing, grooming, and using the restroom. However, Memory Care Communities offer more services and specialized care for seniors with memory difficulties, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. This type of senior living community is designed with special layouts to help residents with confusion and disorientation (i.e., color-coded walls and outdoor areas, etc.) and it also provides a secure area for those that might wander.
Nursing Home Care
Nursing Homes are places for people that need more intensive care, including 24-hour medical and skilled nursing services as well as rehabilitation. People often come to Nursing Homes for short-term care like physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy to recover from an illness or injury. Most individuals normally return home after these services have been completed.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities, also known as CCRCs, are a great long-term care option for people looking to stay in the same community while they age. Seniors living in Continuing Care Retirement Communities can enjoy transitioning to different housing and levels of care as they progress through the aging process. For instance, a person may start with Independent Living and then transition to Assisted Living when help is needed with specific activities of daily living.
What are the Five Levels of Care in Assisted Living?
Assisted Living Communities excel at supporting their residents with what are known as activities of daily living (ADLs). The five main ADLs include personal hygiene (bathing, personal grooming), continence (help in the restroom), dressing, mobility, and eating.
Each resident’s level of care will be determined during an initial screening. During the screening, residents will receive a number on a scale from one to five based on the number of ADLs they’ll need help with.
Five Levels of Care
Level 1: Help with basic needs, such as a morning wake-up visit or reminders to take medication.
Level 2: Hands-on help with one ADL, such as bathing.
Level 3: Hands-on help with two ADLs, such as bathing and dressing.
Level 4: Hands-on help with three ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation.
Level 5: Hands-on help with four or more ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation mobility and/or using the restroom.
For more information about Assisted Living services, you can read our article “What Services and Activities Do Assisted Living Communities Provide?”
Assisted Living Facility vs Nursing Home
While Assisted Living and Nursing Homes are similar, it is a common misconception that they are the same. The main difference between the two is that Assisted Living offers help with ADLs in a more home-like setting, while Nursing Homes have a more hospital-like environment and are best for seniors with extensive medical care needs.
What Is Long-Term Care?
People often require long-term care when they have a serious, ongoing health condition. Fortunately, you or your loved one can receive long-term care from all of the different types of Assisted Living Communities.
When is it Time to Move a Parent or Loved One to Assisted Living?
Learning all you can about the different types of Assisted Living Communities will help you determine which one is best for your loved one’s specific needs.
Use this helpful checklist below to recognize some common signs that suggest it is time for additional care:
- Needing constant reminders to take medication.
- Noticeable weight loss or gain.
- Loss of mobility or increase in falls.
- Presence of cognitive issues.
- Cannot manage activities of daily living independently.
Find an Assisted Living Facility in Your Area
Assisted Living provides many opportunities for support and entertainment. If you or your loved one needs increased care, the best option for support will be an Assisted Living Community. Let Referah’s Team of Experts help you find the right care services to meet your needs.