Different Types of Senior Care

Understanding the Difference Between Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing

There are so many options available these days that it can be difficult to know where to turn when your loved one needs extra care. In this article, we have highlighted some of the more popular facilities for seniors.

Independent Senior Living.

These apartment-setting communities for people 55+ are generally for those who do not require assistance with activities of daily living. Most of these residents maintain their driver’s licenses and care for pets. All independent living communities offer different amenities and programs. Many include an activities program or socials and meals in a dining room. Some may have laundry services, transportation, housekeeping, and other amenities such as a pool or gym. Larger companies may have Independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing communities on one campus, so your loved one can graduate to a high-care community as their needs progress.

When my grandmother could no longer keep her home in order, independent living was the perfect fit for her. She was able to maintain her dignity, her dog, and her car. There were plenty of social programs, and we were comforted knowing she wasn’t making herself the same peanut butter toast for every meal of the day. The community was essentially an apartment complex with socials and a dining room. We paid for a housekeeper to clean her apartment once a week, and residents were supposed to use their own vehicles for transportation. The common areas were maintained; however, a resident had to submit a request for apartment repairs.

Assisted Living.

Apartment-setting communities that assist with activities of daily living, including hygiene, prepared meal, laundry, and medication assistance. There is generally a full-time activities program, a hair salon, and other amenities for the residents to enjoy. These communities have an RN available but not on staff around the clock.

Memory Care.

These communities provide all of the same services that an assisted living provides but specialize in caring for residents with dementia. The communities are generally smaller and have a higher staff-to-resident ratio. A good activities program is based on sensory stimulation.

Skilled Nursing.

Hospital-setting communities that employ doctors and have around-the-clock registered nurses on staff. This type of community assists those that need attention that only an around-the-clock nursing staff can provide.

Respite Care.

This service is for caregivers that need temporary care for their loved ones. A person may stay at an assisted living for up to fourteen days before actually having to move into the community permanently. This service is great for spouses acting as primary caregivers and needs a vacation, etc. Regulations may vary from state to state. Some assisted living communities specializing in memory care often offer some type of “adult day care” programs as well.

Home Health and Hospice Agencies.

These agencies offer additional caregiver support at home or in an assisted living community. These services may be covered by Medicaid. Home health allows people to prolong their move to an assisted living and helps residents that need additional care at an assisted living prolong their move to a skilled nursing community. Hospice agencies focus on care for residents that are actively dying or near the end of life. Their focus is on palliative care, such as pain management and comfort. They are also a great resource, helping families prepare for the loss of their loved ones.

CCRC – Continuing Care Retirement Communities. 

These are communities that offer assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing at one location or campus.

How We Can Help

Deciding which type of care is best for your loved one can be challenging. That’s where Utah Senior Care Advisors in Salt Lake City, Utah, comes into play. We will help you decide the best type of facility, and we will help you find the best place for your loved one. We know how tough it is to navigate care for seniors, and we want to help. Contact us today for a free appointment to learn more!

Choose Salt Lake City Senior Care Advisors

Our advisors have the most experience helping families find senior care in Utah. We use our years of assisted living management knowledge to match you with the perfect community for your loved one. We’ll tour communities with you to ensure all your important questions are answered, and you’re getting a fair price. Contact us today to get started!