Choosing the Best Senior Living Arrangement for an Aging Parent
Choosing the Best Senior Living Arrangement for an Aging Parent. When it comes to choosing the best living situation for an aging parent, it is important to know all of your options. Much will depend on the health of your parent but there are several other factors that you need to consider.
While narrowing your options can be a challenge, it is nice to know that you have choices that will help to ensure that your loved one is happy, healthy and fulfilled. What follows are the most common senior living arrangement:
- Adult Communities. These neighborhoods for older adults can include houses, townhomes, apartments, condominiums and even mobile homes. The only requirement is that residents are 55 years or older. Seniors who live in these communities are completely independent. These communities are popular among older adults because residents are able to socialize with other adults around the same age.
- Independent Living Communities. Made up of apartment-style housing or condominiums, independent living communities also allow seniors to live among their peers. The difference is that independent living communities offer the option of private duty health care services. Some independent living communities have a relationship with a specific private duty care company that may or may not have an office in the complex.
- Senior Living. Similar to adult or independent living communities, senior living – also referred to as assisted living – offers social activities along with health care services. This apartment-style housing is designed for seniors who may or may not need assistance when it comes to meals, medication management, transportation, and even bathing or dressing. The needs of residents in senior living communities can vary greatly. There are typically special units for seniors who require a higher level of care.
- Nursing Homes. Nursing homes – or extended care facilities – are staffed with nurses and other health professionals 24 hours a day. In some cases, seniors stay for only a short period of time, for example, to rehab from a fall or surgery. Others live there permanently. Medicare or Medicaid may cover some costs of a nursing home.
- Continuing Care Retirement Community. These communities meet the needs of seniors of all ages and in all stages of health. They offer everything from independent living to highly-skilled care. As their needs change, seniors can move to an area within the community that meets their particular needs. While a more expensive option, these communities allow seniors to age in place.
With all these options, how do you know which one is right for your parent? Talking to their physician is a good first step because it is important to know the level of care they require.
Next, you may want to make a list of what you and your parent are looking for in a senior living community. Finally, as much as possible, try to keep your parent involved in what is a major decision. No matter where your parent lives, it needs to be a place where they will be well-cared for, happy and comfortable. In other words, a place that feels like home.