Senior Living Facilities: The Basics

When it comes to senior living facilities, there are many different options to choose from. If you or your loved one are considering senior living options, or are looking to plan for the future, here are just a couple of basic pieces of information that may help you along the way. The best person to consult about senior living is your specialist, such as a physician, so make sure you are having regular check-ups and asking them any questions you may have.

What is Senior Living?

Senior living is a broad term for the different types of care and housing options that are available for senior citizens. There are many different options based upon your requirements, and your physician can help assess you and find the right place for you. Belmont Village has many different locations around the country, offering various levels of senior living and care. Medical professionals and nurses are on hand to provide whatever level of support and care is required. There is often an emphasis on maintaining as much independence and dignity as possible whilst also providing care and support.

Who is it for?

In general, senior living facilities are for those individuals who need more assistance performing certain daily tasks as they age. This is very common, and your physician or adult care social work can assess you to determine what kind of support and living facility would best suit you. The assessments can be based on many factors, such as physical and mental health, and also how well you can complete certain tasks. These are known as the Activities of Daily Living and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.

The ADLs are a set of daily self-care tasks that the majority of people can complete without assistance or prompting. They are:

  • Bathing
  • Feeding
  • Toileting
  • Continence
  • Moving
  • Dressing

The IADLs are a set of further tasks that can spot disabilities that the ADLs may not be able to. The IADLs are:

  • Using the telephone
  • Cooking
  • Managing medication
  • Managing finances
  • Shopping
  • Housework
  • Driving/using modes of transport
  • Laundering clothing

These are daily tasks that are required for independent living and self-sufficiency. In general, the more activities you need assistance with, the higher the level of care and support you will need, and this will inform what kind of senior living facility would be best for you. Many people choose to care for their loved ones themselves at home or use the services of a home caregiver, but senior living facilities may become the best option when the level of care required exceeds what can be best delivered at home.

What are the options?

There is a variety of options when it comes to senior living, and your specialist can help you understand and choose which one would best suit your needs or requirements. Some facilities may offer a combination of different options or specialize in a certain kind. There may also be the option for couples of different levels of independence to live together and receive the various levels of support they both require. Here are a few of the common options that you may come across.

Independent Living

Independent living is designed to help residents live as independently and self-sufficiently as possible whilst being able to provide support and care with certain tasks when it is required. Residents live in a community of like-minded people with wellness and cognitive enrichment programs. Residents usually have private rooms, sometimes with their own stoves and laundry machines, as well as the option for flexible dining where meals are prepared for you. One of the goals of independent living is to allow residents to spend more time doing what they enjoy and less time worrying about daily tasks such as laundry and other housekeeping duties. There can also be facilities such as bistros, salons, and fitness centers, as well as social activities and scheduled transportation.

Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are again focused on finding the balance between independence and support. If you need help managing medications, health issues, or support with performing some of the activities of daily living, assisted living may be an option for you. Assisted living communities can include a variety of different amenities, such as engaging social activities, restaurant-style dining, housekeeping, and laundry services, transportation and concierge services, fitness centers, and physical therapy.

Memory Care

Memory care senior living facilities are for residents with memory loss and memory-related illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. This option focuses on creating a safe and stimulating environment for residents, with amenities such as therapy services, chef-prepared dining, private outdoor areas for exercise and activity, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation services.

Short Stays

There are many reasons why you or a loved one may consider a short stay at a senior living facility. If you care for your loved one at home and need a break or are going away and require care for your loved one, a short-term stay at a senior living facility can be a good idea. This is commonly known as respite care, and can allow you to take some time for yourself while remaining comfortable in the knowledge that your loved one is receiving a high level of care. It is also a good way to try out senior living facilities and see what your options may be when further care is required.

A short stay in a facility can also be used when some transitional care is required between the hospital and home. Residents can get the same support and access to the amenities as long-term residents, such as salon, social, transportation, and chef-prepared dining services.

There are many different reasons why you or a loved one may choose senior living, and there are a variety of options to reflect the needs and requirements of the residents. Regular medical check-ups can help to keep on top of your health as you age, and your specialist is the best person to ask for any advice. They can help to assess you and your level of independence, make recommendations and help you to understand and decide upon your next steps.