What are the Options for Senior Care, and How Do I Decide?

As your loved one gets older, you may begin to think about the next steps for deciding senior care options.

You may not be sure where to begin or even know the difference between the many types of care facilities.

Picking the right time and facility to move your loved one can be a difficult choice, but we’ll help you understand senior care options to make sure your loved one gets the love and support they deserve.

What are the Main Types of Senior Care?

You’ve read the terms independent living, assisted living, and memory care before, but maybe didn’t know the specific differences between these three choices. 

We’ll briefly go over each type of care and explain which option is right depending on your loved one’s changing needs. 

Independent Living

Independent living is suitable for mostly self-sufficient seniors, needing minimal help completing their activities of daily living (ADL). Seniors who choose this option are still in good health and can move around freely without assistance.

This type of senior care is closely related to resort-style living accommodations, allowing your loved one more freedom to socialize, participate in shared activities, exercise, and focus on leisure. 

If your loved one is still in good health, but no longer wishes to have the responsibilities of maintaining a home and yard, then moving them into an independent living facility is a great option to allow them to successfully age in place with like-minded people.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is a higher level of care than independent living, helping seniors who need more help performing their ADL’s. 

Seniors who need this type of care, for example, might have worsening eyesight or mobility issues, making them need additional help with things such as bathing, using the toilet, taking medications, running errands, preparing food, etc.

Even though seniors living in assisted living facilities need more assistance than those living in independent living, they are still free to experience the amenities these communities offer, such as social outings, group activities, and other life enrichment activities. The main difference is they just need a little bit of extra help from the care and nursing staff to perform these activities. It’s also common for those living in assisted living facilities to live in an apartment or shared suite.

It’s natural and normal for people living in independent living to eventually require more hands-on care than assisted living offers. 

Memory Care

Memory Care facilities are suited for seniors with advanced memory issues, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

When seniors move into these communities, it’s because they are no longer able to perform their ADL and are at a higher risk of falling or wandering off. For those reasons, these communities offer round-the-clock care and are in more of a secure, open setting so that your loved one can be closely monitored for additional peace of mind.

Nurses and staff help memory care patients with bathing, eating, taking medications, laundry, mobility, and more. 

 

Deciding on the Right Senior Care for a Loved One

Picking the right care facility for your loved one depends on a few things: their current health, mobility, memory loss, and level of independence.

When Independent Living is Best

If your parent or loved one is getting older, but is still in good health, moving into an independent care facility is a good way to let them enjoy their golden years without the hassle of maintaining their home. This is why some refer to independent living as “hassle-free” living.

When Assisted Living is Best

If your loved one lives home alone, and begins to need additional help running errands, cleaning their home, or has recently fallen, then assisted living might be a better option, as they will have the extra help they need when they will need it. 

If they are still of sound mind, maybe a little bit forgetful, they still can enjoy the amenities and social activities these communities offer.

When Memory Care is Best

For seniors with advanced memory or mobility issues, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, and can no longer live on their own independently, or whose care becomes too much for their loved ones to provide, moving them into a memory care facility is the best option. These communities have round-the-clock care and supervision to watch over your loved ones and give them the special care they deserve.

The Best Decision: A Senior Community That Will Love and Support 

No matter what level of care you choose for your loved one, know that the most important decision is finding a community that will love and support your loved one throughout their life and changing needs, allowing them to age in place. 

Benefits of a Community Setting

Social interaction has been proven to help seniors live a longer and healthier life. If you’re worried about your loved one who lives in isolation, then moving them into an independent or assisted living community is a good way to surround them with similar people. 

How to Continue to Support a Loved One After They’ve Moved In

Once your loved one has moved into their new community, you’ll want to think of many thoughtful ways to show your love and support.

The simplest way of showing support is by calling or FaceTiming regularly. If your loved one isn’t as tech-savvy, make sure their facility allows for video calls or Skype internet access, as many do.

Another way to support them is to send them handwritten notes or cards regularly. If your loved one made friends, consider sending their friends letters too, they’ll be sure to appreciate it!

During the pandemic, many care facilities have undergone more strict guidelines for visiting loved ones, so be sure to check out your facility’s guidelines for visitation.

The Kensington Promise

Residents at Kensington Park’s assisted living and independent living communities are free to socialize with other residents, partake in social activities and outings, eat fine dining in our meal room, and walk around our beautiful 8 acres of park-like settings.

For those who need additional care because of memory loss, our Memory Care facilities are staffed 24/7 by licensed nurses as well as primary care providers who can provide medicine, diabetes management, and injections. We also offer on-site rehabilitation services through Genesis Rehab, when needed.

At Kensington Park, we promise to love and care for your loved one as we do our own.

Are you searching for additional information? Please reach out to our caring support staff to answer any further questions you may have about our communities.

 

Further Reading:

To learn more about our exceptional assisted living and memory care at Kensington Park, click below or give us a call today for any questions. We promise to love and care for your family, as we do our own.

 

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