Caregiving University


Senior Housing Options

Description Of Housing Types

Independent Living


Independent Living, often referred to as Retirement Communities, Congregate Living or Senior Apartments, are designed specifically for independent senior adults who want to enjoy a lifestyle filled with recreational, educational and social activities with other seniors. These communities are designed for seniors who are able to live on their own, but desire the security and conveniences of community living. Some communities offer an enriched lifestyle with organized social and recreational programs as a part of everyday activities (Congregate Living or Retirement Communities), while others provide housing with only a minimal amount of amenities or services (Senior Apartments).


Assisted Living


Although many Assisted Living communities and Nursing Homes cater to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other related memory disorders or dementia, there is a growing trend towards facilities that provide specialized care and housing tailored to the special needs of individuals with this disease. These facilities offer care that fosters residents' individual skills and interests in an environment that helps to diminish confusion and agitation. Specialty services are provided in a secure environment, such as activity programs designed to include reality orientation classes and specially trained professional staff skilled in handling the behavior associated with memory impairments. Many facilities that specialize in Alzheimer's or related dementia disorders have building design features that assist with the problems associated with this disease: color-coded hallways, visual cues, and secure wandering paths for additional security.


Alzheimer's


Although many Assisted Living communities and Nursing Homes cater to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other related memory disorders or dementia, there is a growing trend towards facilities that provide specialized care and housing tailored to the special needs of individuals with this disease. These facilities offer care that fosters residents' individual skills and interests in an environment that helps to diminish confusion and agitation. Specialty services are provided in a secure environment, such as activity programs designed to include reality orientation classes and specially trained professional staff skilled in handling the behavior associated with memory impairments. Many facilities that specialize in Alzheimer's or related dementia disorders have building design features that assist with the problems associated with this disease: color-coded hallways, visual cues, and secure wandering paths for additional security.


Nursing Homes


Nursing Homes, or Skilled Nursing Facilities, are designed for seniors who are in need of 24-hour nursing care. Nursing Facilities provide many of the same residential components of other senior care options including room and board, personal care, protection supervision, and may offer other types of therapy. Their onsite medical staff sets them apart from other types of senior housing. Nursing care is provided by registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), and nurses aides at all hours of the day.


Continuing Care Retirement Communities


Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are residential campuses that provide a continuum of care---from private units to assisted living and then skilled nursing care, all in one location. CCRCs are designed to offer active seniors an independent lifestyle from the privacy of their own home, but also include the availability of services in an assisted living environment and on-site intermediate or skilled nursing care if necessary.