If you’ve been looking into senior living communities, either for yourself or a loved one, you have probably already discovered that there are a wealth of options out there.
Each calling themselves a different name—retirement home, retirement community, senior community and the list goes on. It’s not exactly clear what makes each option different from the other, though they do seem to offer different services or amenities for their residents. Yet again, every program seems to have a different name in each community.
You may have asked yourself what “senior living” even means or how “skilled nursing care” is different from a nursing home. And what is assisted living, anyway, and why is it different in every community?
If you aren’t familiar with the vocabulary, it can be confusing to try to unravel the complexities of senior living.
But you need to understand the terminology so that you can make the right choice about your future or the future of your loved one.
Today, we’re interpreting the dialect of senior living used right here in Cincinnati because we believe that every older adult deserves to live with dignity and respect.
What is senior living?
Senior living isn’t really a type of community in itself, so it doesn’t have a single definition. Rather, it refers to the spectrum of housing options available to older adults.
Senior housing options run the gamut between permanent dwellings and single occupancy rooms for short-term recovery and recuperation.
There are two basic types of organized senior living for older adults who wish to live in a community:
1. Independent Living
Independent living is typically what most Americans think of as a retirement community. Residents live in individual apartments where they enjoy complete autonomy over their lifestyle and full in-house amenities, but have access to community amenities and the opportunity to participate in regularly scheduled events.
2. Assisted Living
Like independent living, assisted living provides older adults with their own residences, and the option to utilize communal amenities and take part in planned events. However, assisted living is geared toward older adults who need some regular assistance to live well on their own, offering a range of in-home services and nursing care to assist these residents with daily tasks.
Skilled Nursing Care
Skilled nursing provides a range of care options:
- long-term assistance and monitoring for permanent residents
- short term convalescent or rehabilitation care for older adults who are transitioning home after a hospital stay
However, skilled nursing care does not typically refer to a type of community in itself. These days, skilled nursing does not so much describe a style of senior housing as it does explain a type of service.
“Nursing home,” with its connotations of a drab, dreary and highly regimented facility, is a dying term in the lexicon of senior living.
Nursing care provides the care and services that are typically associated with the nursing home(qualified professionals are on-call to meet the daily needs of older adult residents)without being an institution in itself.
The Deupree Cottages are a prime example of this, offering both long and short term care within the larger Deupree House community.
Some senior living communities even offer skilled care services that cater to older adults with specific conditions. At Marjorie P. Lee, the Morris Apartments, offers senior living designed to meet the needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
These days, many older adults want to age in place, safe and secure in the comfort of their own home. CCRCs are the answer to this. In recent years, there have been strides made toward creating senior living that offers a full spectrum of living options and senior care and services in the same community.
- Independent living
- Assisted Living
- Skilled nursing care
ERH’s premier retirement communities Marjorie P. Lee and Deupree House offer a spectrum of care, giving residents the comfort of knowing that they’ll never be made to leave their homes.