If you’re in the process of evaluating senior living communities, you might have come across the following types: senior independent living, assisted living, and memory care. You may be wondering what’s the difference between these different communities – and which one is right for you or your loved.
To help you narrow down your choices, we review each type today!
Independent Senior Living
This is the perfect place for seniors who are able to take care of themselves but want to reduce their responsibilities. Independent senior living communities offer a wide variety of amenities, including wellness and fitness centers, activities like happy hours, classes, libraries, transportation to shopping districts, and more.
The main reason that many seniors choose this option is because they no longer want to be concerned about house upkeep – and all the expenses that come along with it. If you’re on a fixed budget, taking care of broken appliances, buying groceries, and paying utilities can start to run up. This doesn’t even include the need to cook, do laundry, and clean your home. If you choose to outsource those tasks, that’s also another expense.
All-inclusive independent senior living communities will be a set price that includes everything from transportation to chef-prepared meals to housekeeping. Typical arrangements are senior living apartments, but some other places will offer larger condos or townhomes. Depending on your preferences, you can have a space as large or as small as you desire.
While independent living communities are intended for active seniors who just don’t want to maintain a house, assisted living communities are designed for seniors who will need help with daily living tasks like bathing, grooming, getting in and out of bed, and more. These communities are designed with safety in mind since many of these seniors will have trouble navigating traditional setups.
These safety features can range from daily check-ins by a staff member or nurse to an in-room emergency system. Staff members will be specially hired to support patients in this group. In fact, 24-hour care will be provided to ensure that residents maintain their quality of life.
Assisted living communities offer nearly the same amenities as an independent living community. Residents will still have access to all sorts of activities like game nights, exercise classes, workshops, outings, and more. There will be plenty of opportunity to socialize with other seniors.
The types of individuals who would be best suited for an assisted living facility will vary. For example, if a patient has dementia, but only needs some help daily activities, that person could thrive in an assisted living community. If the dementia is too far along, then these individuals might do better in a memory care community. Memory care communities typically have more safety features, which decreases the chances of a patient having to deal with an unsafe environment.
While assisted living communities can help a wide variety of seniors who need assistance, memory care communities are for seniors who have degenerative memory issues, including dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Activities in these communities will typically focus on dementia-specific types of activities. For example, music therapy has been shown to help those with dementia access different parts of their brain. There are also types of memory games that can help with memory loss. The goal is to create an environment that will have a positive impact on the senior’s life.
Since residents with memory issues often showcase challenging behaviors, special steps need to be taken to ensure their safety. They may be prone to wandering off so door alarms may be added. Staff will be specifically trained in memory care to help the residents. Many seniors with dementia or other memory issues might become easily confused and get lost. Each community will have 24-hour supervision to ensure that seniors are safe at all times.
Which One Do I Choose?
Before selecting a community, you need to consider your or your loved one’s needs. Are you able to easily handle daily tasks, or do you need a little help? Is your mother or grandmother capable of living with just a little assistance, or has the person’s memory problems progressed too far?
There may also be a “between” stage. Your loved one may be able to live at an assisted living facility until the dementia progresses and then move into a memory care community.
All Levels of Care at Mansions
At Mansions, we offer communities for all levels of care, including senior independent living, assisted living, and memory care. We have trained staff who specialize in geriatric care as well as hold advanced certifications in dementia care. If you’re not sure which community would work best for you, we’ll gladly be a resource during your decision-making process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you!