The term “independent living” may take on different meanings when applied to continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). It may sometimes imply an active and independent lifestyle, where the senior is free of the need for assistance with performing daily tasks and addressing his/her daily needs.
In other cases, it may mean that a frailer senior, perhaps someone suffering from dementia, is receiving the support services in a memory assisted living facility that is necessary to help them remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible.
This article provides a more in-depth look at what independent living looks like in senior homes. It will also talk about how this is normally a temporary arrangement as seniors will become more dependent and require more care as they age.
Assisted Living Homes vs CCRCs
Before going further, it’s important to establish the difference between an assisted living home and a continuing care retirement community.
Assisted living facilities are for those who require little assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). They do not provide medical care so the resident must move to a different type of senior care location, such as a skilled nursing center if they need medical care.
Residents can expect a number of services including specially trained, licensed professionals who provide around-the-clock support for activities of daily living. Accommodations are typically comfortable, private, and aesthetically pleasing.
Continuing care communities, on the other hand, allow their residents to “age in place”. They’re in an environment with familiar faces and a daily routine they enjoy, rather than moving from place to place to receive the care you need. CCRCs offer all levels of senior care in one convenient location.
CCRCs employ medical professionals like nurses and therapists who are trained in geriatric care. They carry out individualized health plans that change as the resident ages.
The best thing about living in a continuing care retirement community is that residents can receive higher levels of care on the same campus. For example, many CCRCs have memory assisted living units for seniors who might eventually succumb to Alzheimer’s disease.
Living independently at CCRCs
Now, CCRCs provide residents with a variety of care services if and when they are needed. The seniors in CCRCs can typically be categorized as those needing long-term care, otherwise known as assisted living services, and those that are able to leave in a fully independent manner.
Long-term care refers to help with daily activities like dressing, bathing, using the toilet, and food preparation.
Meanwhile, the seniors residing in the “independent living” portion of a CCRC require none of these. They are living on their own in apartment units or patio-style homes.
It’s important to point out that the health and mobility of a CCRC resident change over time. It isn’t uncommon for those living independently to have caregivers come into their home or apartment once they do begin to need a little bit of help.
Senior facilities typically provide separate assisted living and nursing care accommodations for residents whose care needs have advanced considerably. However, almost all residents prefer to stay in their own apartment or home for as long as possible.
The choice to go for an assisted living or continuing care retirement community depends on the physical and mental condition of an elderly loved one. It is important to do extensive research and tour these places firsthand to ensure that the quality of care is as expected.
Richmont Senior Living is proud to serve Ashland, NE and the surrounding cities: Memphis, Springfield, South Bend, Greenwood, Murdock, Waverly, Murdock, Ithaca, and Chalco