As we age, our housing and care needs change. While in the past, housing options were somewhat limited for senior citizens, typically nursing homes, living with family members or living independently were the only options, there are now more options available for seniors.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s) are a relatively new concept that offer a continuum of care for senior citizens. A CCRC offers independent living options, normally with low maintenance housing, within a community. Also within the community are residential options that provide for their future needs, such as an assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility. The CCRC allows a senior citizen to stay within one community and plan for their future needs accordingly with less upheaval.
Independent living options are designed for seniors who can live independently in a secure environment with certain amenities and services available. Often the homes are low maintenance, such as condominiums or townhomes designed with the needs of seniors in mind. Independent Living Communities are also referred to as Senior Communities, Retirement Homes and Active 55+ Communities.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities, also called long term care facilities, are residential facilities that provide assistance with what are termed the activities of daily living, such as bathing, meal preparation and more. Living arrangements vary from single or double occupancy rooms, to suites or apartments, and are usually within a multi-unit residential setting. The supervision, assistance and level of care vary between facilities, so it’s important to find a setting that meets the needs of the senior citizen.
Nursing homes are specialized long-term care facilities that provide twenty-four hour skilled nursing, assistance with activities of daily living and health services. Some nursing homes offer specialized care for residents suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or other intensive health issues.
The category that a senior housing option falls into represents more than just a label, it can also determine the coverage benefit of Medicare, Medicaid or insurance plans. Planning for your later years and possible incapacitation is an important component of both retirement and estate planning. Working with an elder care attorney who has expertise in this area will help you face the challenges that you will face later in life.