A Guide to Senior Living Options

April 21, 2021
Find the option that's right for you.
By Alyse Wagner - American House

There is something very real about the phrase “there’s no place like home.” It’s our sense of comfort and belonging. It’s a space that’s jam packed with moments and memories.

So, when it’s time to make the decision for yourself or your loved one whether to move into senior living, it’s no surprise that it’s often difficult and emotional.

Today, there are more senior living options available than ever before. With so many options to choose from, deciding where to begin your search, and the appropriate level of care can be overwhelming. Understanding the terminology used in the senior living industry is an important first step in determining the best option for a loved one.

We have created a guide for you on the different living options to help you make the right decision.

Different Types of Senior Living Lifestyles

In-Home Care

In-home care caregivers may offer a range of services including companionship, supervision and personal care. Individuals may choose this option if they are still living in their long-time home. Plans typically include non-medical services and skilled health care services.

In-home care may not be best for seniors who want to enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle.

At American House, seniors can expect to enjoy services like housekeeping, laundry and on-site maintenance. Here, you’ll never need to worry about shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing the grass or watering the lawn ever again.

Our residents also enjoy musical performances, fitness classes, education opportunities, live entertainment, beauty/barber salon, chapel, game rooms and more.

Residential Care Homes

Care homes, board homes and residential care facilities are all terms used to describe a small private facility with 10 or fewer residents for people over the age of 60.

Residential care homes are often located in neighborhoods because they’re usually private homes that were converted and staffed for group living.

Residents here receive care and meals and have personal available around the clock. Nursing and medical care usually are not provided on site.

Residential care homes may not be the best option for seniors who enjoy a wide variety of activities and amenities such as theaters, scheduled outings, live entertainment, fitness classes, happy hours chef-prepared meals and more.

At American House, we believe your happiness matters, and your story matters, and we’re here to help you write it, your way. 

Independent Living (IL)

Independent living is optimal for active seniors, who take comfort in knowing they have access to assistance when needed.

Typically, seniors seeking independent living need very little, if any, assistance with daily needs. They travel freely, tend to keep more robust schedules and generally appreciate the privacy associated with independent living communities. This group of older adults usually engages with friends and neighbors of the community, participating in social gatherings and outings.

Be sure to check out Independent Living at American House.

Assisted Living (AL)

Assisted living is a great option for individuals who do not require extensive care, but have difficulty with performing daily activities at home.

Assisted living communities are designed to address the need for daily assistance with everyday tasks, while allowing residents to live comfortably, enjoying the privacy of their own apartment with access to essential services. Certified caregivers, and in some communities, licensed practitioners, are available 24/7 for support. Assisted living amenities at American House include housekeeping, chef-prepared meals, and a full monthly calendar of events, outings, and activities to help residents stay active and engaged.

Interested in learning more? American House has that at-home feeling with assistance when and where you need it.

Memory Care (MC)

Memory care communities are designed specifically for older adults living with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and other memory-loss conditions.

These licensed communities offer a secure environment with 24-hour medical assistance, life-enrichment programs, plus all the services and amenities available at both independent and assisted living communities.

We welcome the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Memory Care Neighborhoods. Our compassionate team will be happy to meet with you to help determine the right fit for your loved one.

Friendship/Shared Suites

A friendship or shared suite is an apartment that is shared by two residents.

Although more and more older adults are choosing senior living communities as an option, the financial responsibility can be a barrier. Friendship Suites, or living with a friend, is growing in popularity. Aside from the affordability, many seniors who choose to our Friendship Suites also enjoy the companionship that develops between suitemates.

Learn more about the impacts of social isolation in seniors and Friendship Suites at American House.

Nursing Home/ Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

You may see the acronym SNF associated with senior living. In senior living SNF (often pronounced as “sniff”) stands for skilled nursing facility, which is interchangeable with the more familiar term nursing home. Both terms are used to describe a facility that provides 24-hour medical care on site.

Skilled nursing care is a high level of medical care that must be provided by licensed health professionals. Care that is received in skilled nursing is very similar to the care one receives in a hospital. Skilled nursing care can be necessary for the rehabilitation from an injury, illness or for someone who needs a high level of care on a constant basis.

While we do not offer skilling nursing at American House, we’re always happy to help connect you with one of our preferred partners. Please contact the American House community nearest you for more information.

Respite Stays

When a primary caregiver is unavailable to provide care, a respite stay allows you and your family to have a peace of mind, knowing that help is always close at hand. Respite stays also allow you the opportunity to meet new friends, engage in fun activities and entertaining events.

Respite care is also often used for recovery after surgery or after a discharge from the hospital. By offering assistance with Activities of Daily Living, physical therapy, meals, housekeeping and more, you are able to focus on the most important issue: restoring your health.

Regardless of the reason of your stay, we can provide the services you need and the resort-style amenities that you’ll enjoy.

Adult Day Services

Sometimes referred to as adult day care, adult day services typically operate during business hours and support the needs of seniors who may be living with physical limitations or memory loss. According to the Mayo Clinic adult day services typically provide supervision, recreation & social activities, meals and, in some cases, medical services.

Adult day care offers benefits for caregivers who work part-time of full-time. However, for seniors that need 24-hour support, or those who prefer the security and peace of mind that comes with residential senior living, this may not be the best option to avoid strains in the relationship with the caregiver.

Deciding Which One is Right for You or a Loved One

When considering your options, it is important to consult with close relatives, loved ones and trusted advisors like doctors, or legal professionals. We have compiled many helpful resources and guides in our Senior Living Resources section here that can help with the selection process, and to get the conversation started. The following selections are useful tools in choosing the right options:

 

 

 

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