Weighing Senior Living Options According to What You Need and Want

Sinceri 4 26 22 Weighing SL Options

In a previous post, we described various types of senior living. Among them are independent living, assisted living, memory care, respite care, and convalescent care.

One way to decide what type of senior living might be the best fit for you is to evaluate each option in terms of what you want and what you need. You can use the same technique if you’re considering senior living options for someone you know.

Independent living may be a good fit if you…

Need:

  • A home that’s easy to get around and friendly to aging adults (no more stairs!).

Want:

  • More enjoyment out of life.
  • Someone else to look after maintaining the property.
  • Lots of opportunities to connect with other independent-minded people.
  • A place where you can do your own cooking if you want to, but where you also have the option to take advantage of dining facilities and/or a meal plan nearby.
  • Optional planned social activities.
  • Peace of mind knowing that health services are close by should you need them.

Other things to consider:

  • Some senior living communities offer housekeeping services (one less chore on your list!).
  • There may be other amenities and services as well. Some higher-end communities may offer access to things like a fitness center, onsite spa, swimming pool, or even a golf course.

Assisted living may be a good fit if you…

Need:

  • The privacy of your own apartment.
  • A friendly, supportive environment.
  • A meal plan.
  • Optional support with day-to-day activities (such as dressing, bathing, grooming, or medication management).
  • Optional planned social activities.

Want:

  • A chance to regain some of your independence and form new social connections.
  • An opportunity to revive old interests or pursue new ones.
  • The choice to invite family members into your home without having to rely on them for support.

Other things to consider:

  • Some services may be included in the overall fees or they may be charged on an as-needed basis.
    download your family decision toolkit guide

Memory care may be a good fit for those who…

Need:

  • A safe and secure dementia-friendly environment.
  • Support from staff who are trained to help you with any of the following dementia-related problems:
    • Trouble finding words
    • Increased frustration
    • Uncharacteristic behaviors (possibly including emotional outbursts)
    • Increasing disorientation to time, place, and people
    • Difficulty with spatial perception
    • Disrupted sleeping and eating patterns
    • Social withdrawal or depression
    • Exit-seeking behavior

Want:

  • Understanding and respect despite any of these dementia-related problems.

Other things to consider:

  • Not all memory care programs are created equal. Choose one with staff specially trained in dementia care.
  • Make sure they’re adept at figuring out why you might be struggling even when you may not be able to explain it yourself.
  • They should focus on activities that you still enjoy and provide support so the experience is failure-free.
  • If you become frustrated, staff should be able to calm and redirect you based on an understanding of your unique emotional triggers.

A short-term respite stay may be a good fit if you…

Need:

  • A place to convalesce from surgery until you can return home (convalescent care), or
  • A break for a family member who’s been looking after you at home (respite care).

Want:

  • To try out senior living for a limited period without making a long-term commitment (trial stay), or
  • A break from your current home (e.g. during the winter) by spending a week or two in a senior-friendly community with social activities (a kind of mini-vacation).

More information

For more on this topic, check out our “Family Decision Toolkit”. Or contact us to better understand whether Sinceri Senior Living is a good fit for you or someone you know.

download your family decision toolkit guide

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