Senior living communities have come a long way since the nursing homes of the past. But with so many options for services, amenities and levels of care, selecting a senior care community can be overwhelming. This causes some to delay their search, sometimes until they are in a crisis situation and must make a decision quickly. Taking the time to research the options near you and making informed decisions in advance will make the move much easier when the time is right.

The most important step in selecting a senior care community is to determine the level of care needed. Keep in mind any current health issues as well as future concerns – it’s important to plan for today and tomorrow.

Independent Living

Active seniors that are looking to downsize or get away from the stress of home repairs may be interested in the carefree lifestyle that independent living communities offer. Housing options range from apartments to garden homes and offer seniors the opportunity to socialize and participate in life-enrichment activities. Many communities offer meals and housekeeping services plus on-site amenities such as fitness centers, beauty salons, libraries and chapels.

Assisted Living/Personal Care

Assisted Living and Personal Care communities are intended for seniors looking for comfort, convenience and peace of mind. Residents enjoy the privacy of their own apartment specifically designed for senior safety, including grab bars and an emergency call system. These communities provide a combination of housing and personal care services designed to respond to individuals who need assistance with normal daily activities. Caregivers are available to assist with activities of daily living which include bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, transferring, and toileting. Housekeeping, transportation and laundry services may also be available. Residents are encouraged to maintain an active social life with a full calendar of events, including daily activities and special outings.

Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled nursing facilities are for those who need ongoing long-term nursing care or short-term rehabilitation while recovering from surgery, illness, or other hospitalization. These facilities provide 24/7 medical and nursing services with access to rehabilitative services such as physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Memory Care

Specialty care for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias is often called memory care. These are typically secured units staffed by caregivers who have training and experience working with residents living with memory impairment. Memory care programs offer unique activities that are specifically designed to engage their residents which increases self-esteem.

The advantages of belonging to a senior living community are too important to ignore. Still, many seniors and their families view senior living communities as a last resort. But as seniors and their families begin to see the benefits of senior living communities, they are turning to senior living communities earlier in life. The seniors of today are making their own plans for the future and why shouldn’t they? These should be the best years of their lives.