What Care Is Provided in Senior Living Communities?

Senior living is a great choice for seniors who need more care than family can provide. However, understanding the different levels of care provided in senior living is essential to choosing which senior living community offers the type of care best suited to a senior’s needs. Here’s a look at the different levels of care provided in senior living communities.

Independent living: An emphasis on worry-free independence

Seniors who are active and healthy choose independent living because it supports independence without the responsibilities of living at home. In general, however, independent living does not provide care. What seniors do get in independent living is a beautiful private home, on-call maintenance and repair, plenty of engaging activities and events to enjoy, and safety and security whether they are at home or away.

Independent living also offers onsite amenities like hair salons and barbershops, fitness centers, local transportation, excellent chef-prepared meals, and regular housekeeping and linen services. To best understand what independent living has to offer, our blog, “Is an Independent Living Retirement Community the Right Choice for Me?” spells it out.

Download our “Senior Living Options” guide.

Assisted living: A helping hand when you need it

Like independent living, assisted living makes independence a priority. The difference is that assisted living offers the first level of care provided in senior living so seniors who need help with non-medical care like dressing, bathing, mobility and medication management have that help on hand 24 hours a day.

As noted in our blog, “What Is Assisted Living? Assisted Living Defined,” the beauty of assisted living is that the care provided in senior living communities like Thrive is carefully designed to fit each senior’s needs without being intrusive. Seniors who choose assisted living also have private homes, access to all of the community’s services and amenities and the peace of mind provided by round-the-clock safety and security.

Another aspect to consider about the care provided in senior living is the cost, especially when compared to the cost of in-home care. According to the “2023 Genworth Cost of Care Survey,” these costs are vastly different.

The national hourly median cost of in-home care provided by a home health aide is $33 per hour. This adds up to a national monthly median cost of $24,024 while the national monthly median cost of assisted living is $5,350, a considerable savings especially considering everything else provided in assisted living. It is also important to note that the hourly cost of a home health aide increased 7.14% year-over-year in 2023 compared to 2022 while the monthly cost of assisted living increased just 1.36% over the same period.

Memory care: Specialized care and peace of mind for everyone

One of the most important types of care provided in senior living is memory care. Seniors diagnosed with dementia have special care needs that exceed those provided in assisted living. In addition to hands-on help with activities like dressing and personal hygiene, they often require constant oversight to ensure they are well cared for and safe.

Another aspect of care provided in senior living that is only available in memory care is a high level of security to reduce the likelihood that residents will wander away from the community unattended. As described in the alz.org article “Wandering,” this phenomenon can occur at any time of the day or night and can have catastrophic results if a senior is lost or injured.

The care provided in senior living memory care also includes structured activities designed to help those with memory loss develop a routine. From waking each morning to going to bed at night memory care residents enjoy the benefits of exercise, excellent nutritious meals, social activities and events, and therapies that can help slow the progression of their disease. Each resident also has a unique care plan that covers every aspect of their day from hands-on care to health needs to eating and more. Every aspect is premised on enabling residents to retain the greatest level of independence possible without sacrificing safety and security. For a closer look at what to expect in memory care, check out our blog, “What a Day in the Life of a Memory Care Resident Is Like.”

Skilled nursing: Professional medical care

Beyond independent and assisted living and memory care is skilled nursing which is offered in some senior living communities. This may include long-term care for an illness or injury or short-term rehabilitation following a hospital stay. This level of care provided in senior living is medical care similar to that provided in a hospital and is usually prescribed by a physician.

When trying to choose the perfect level of care provided in senior living download our “Senior Living Options” guide, then contact us to schedule a tour.

Senior Living Options Guide