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Senior Assisted Living Blog

Housing Needs Should be Part of Retirement Planning – Richmond, VA

- Thursday, March 06, 2014

How often do we hear stories about an elder loved one who falls, becomes ill and is suddenly in need of care? Out of the blue, they and their families face a decision with enormous ramifications: where are they going to live now to get the care they need, and how are they going to afford it?

In other words: “Now what?”

Understand the choices you have and plan for the future before it becomes an emergency; before fate and circumstances force the decision.

Here are the most common housing options available for older adults and their families and some of the considerations that may guide a seniors’ housing selection.

55+ Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are planned residential communities that offer services and amenities which promote an active, healthy lifestyle. Independent living is not an option for someone who cannot care for him or herself. These communities offer services and a wide range of amenities such as fitness centers, pools, tennis courts, golf courses, dining and a wide variety of social clubs. Residences may be single family homes, villas, town homes, or condominiums.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

CCRCs are a type of retirement community that offers a continuum of care, from independent living (such as single family homes, town homes, villas or condominiums) to assisted living, skilled nursing care, and potentially rehabilitation, all on one campus. This option provides lifetime housing and transition to increased tiers of care and service as health needs change. CCRCs are the most comprehensive option available because they cover all levels of care, but, as such, they are also the most expensive. Many of these communities have extensive amenities and services available.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are designed for individuals who want to be as independent as possible and need help with some Activities of Daily Living. Activities of Daily Living include bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring, and continence. Assisted living facilities provide social and community interaction and will monitor residents’ activities to ensure health, safety and well-being. While there is 24-hour supervision, there is not 24-hour skilled medical care. Most assisted living facilities offer either studio or one-bedroom apartments. In addition, they have dining rooms where residents can take their meals. Typically, assisted living units are rentals and residents tend to stay until the end of a life.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

These facilities, also known as nursing homes, provide the highest level of care with 24-hour skilled medical care for residents with serious medical conditions and/or advanced dementia. Each patient’s care is supervised by a licensed physician in combination with skilled nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists, etc. They also provide patients with assistance with the Activities of Daily Living. Skilled nursing offers the highest level of supervision for ongoing care for the rest of the patient’s life.

Anticipating future housing needs should become a component of your long-term retirement planning process. Incorporate housing into your financial planning conversations. Planning now can help you make cost-effective decisions.

For more information on assisted living homes, contact Spring Arbor.