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Types of Senior Living: What’s the Difference?

There often comes a time when families have to evaluate whether or not elderly relatives will need assistance in an adult residential care facility. This is not a decision that anybody wants to have to make, and it is not a decision that any person takes lightly. However, there are times when the needs of older family members outstrip the ability of their loved ones to care for them. Here we want to discuss the different types of senior living that you may consider in California. Most people think of all senior living situations as being the same, but that is not necessarily the case.

 

Understanding the Different Types of Senior Living Facilities

Many of the types of facilities we will discuss here will be familiar to you, but some may not be. It is important for you to understand all of your options when deciding the best route for your loved one.

Board and care homes

These types of facilities are also referred to as residential care facilities or even group homes. In general, these are small and private facilities, usually with fewer than two dozen residents. In these situations, rooms may be private or shared, and residents receive personal care and meals from staff available 24 hours a day. In board and care homes, nursing and medical care are usually not provided at the site.

What we will find is that these homes work best for individuals who are fairly independent and do not need daily medical care.

Assisted living facilities

Assisted living facilities are for those who do need help with their daily care, but not to the level of care needed at nursing homes. In general, assisted living facilities range in size and can include as few as 25 people or have up to 100 or more residents. At assisted living facilities, we will see that there are typically various levels of care offered.

Individuals inside assisted living facilities typically live on their own in apartments or rooms, though there will be shared common areas. Residents will have access to various types of services, including three daily meals, assistance with their personal care, help with their medications, as well as housekeeping and laundry assistance. There are usually various types of social and recreational activities at assisted living facilities.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes are the next level of care up from assisted living facilities. As the name implies, a nursing home will provide continual nurse care around the clock. Nursing homes are the better option for those who need enhanced medical care on a daily basis. This usually includes continual nursing care, 24-hour supervision, assistance with medication, and more.

Similar to assisted living facilities, residents usually have access to recreational activities, but they will also have access to various types of physical therapy and rehabilitation services. Some people only go to nursing homes for short amounts of time after being in the hospital, but there are also times when nursing home care will be required for the remainder of a person’s life.

Continued care retirement communities (CCRCs)

Continuing care retirement communities are also called life care communities. These types of facilities offer different levels of services, but all in one location. For example, CCRCs may offer independent living facilities, assisted living areas, and nursing home care all on the same campus or facility. In these facilities, where a person lives will depend entirely on the level of service that they need.