How Senior Living is Different Than a “Nursing Home”
There are many misconceptions about retirement living, including the belief that all community living settings for seniors are “nursing homes”. An important difference is that retirement communities that offer independent and/or assisted living aim to help older adults maintain independence while living in their own residential apartments. Skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes are a clinical environment that offer 24/7 medical care for those who are very sick or in need of rehabilitation services following a major surgery or health event.
Let’s begin by exploring each of these senior living and care options – independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing.
Independent Living is perfect for older adults who are ready to be free of home ownership and responsibilities like yard work and household maintenance and repairs. These communities are best suited for older adults who are active, healthy, and desire a socially engaging retirement lifestyle. The comfortable home-like atmosphere of independent living helps seniors feel safe, while offering amenities like wellness programs, chef-prepared meals, cultural events, and more.
Older adults who are concerned about health conditions that limit their ability to live alone now or in the future may want to consider a community that offers assisted living services. Here older adults can receive help with personal care and support with bathing, dressing, or managing medication as the need arises. Meals, social activities, housekeeping, and transportation are offered as well. Assisted living aims to keep seniors independent for as long as possible, but 24-hour support is available if needed or in the case of emergencies. The safety provided in an assisted living community gives adult children peace of mind.
Transitioning from Independent Living to Assisted Living
Some retirement communities have separate apartments for independent and assisted living. If the need for assisted living arises, residents living in an independent living apartment may need to move into a different apartment in the same community to receive assisted living services. In other retirement communities, residents may stay in the same apartment when the need comes to change from independent to assisted living. Be sure to ask the communities you are considering if you may stay in place if assisted living becomes needed. All Era Living communities allow residents to stay in their own apartment when assisted living is required.
Skilled nursing centers, also known as nursing homes, provide round-the-clock medical care for seniors who need it. They function more like a hospital in that residents are monitored around the clock by a skilled health care professionals. Meals, transportation services, and social activities are provided.
This type of community can also be a cost-effective short-term rehab option for seniors recovering from injury or surgery. A short-term rehab stay is typically paid for using a senior’s Medicare benefit.
How to Choose a Senior Living Option
Deciding where to live is one of the most important retirement decisions seniors make. The U.S. Administration on Aging encourages older adults to ask themselves the following when choosing a new home:
- What kind of lifestyle do I want?
- How important is my choice of location?
- What types of amenities are important to me?
- Does my health status require me to look for features that will help me live more comfortably?
- How involved should family and friends be in my decision-making?
Take our quiz today to find out if you or your loved one could benefit from living in a retirement community setting.
Era Living offers eight retirement living communities in Seattle, Renton, Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Issaquah. At each location, seniors can live independently and access assisted living services if and when it becomes needed. Have questions? You can reach out to senior living experts on the Era Living Community Relations team today.