As older adults age in Massachusetts, they have new options of places where they can live. They can choose a place where they’ll continue to live independently, a location that provides help when it’s needed, a facility where they can receive 24-hour care when that’s required, and even a place where they can live independently but then get additional services as they need them. Here are a few options for senior living:
Assisted Living Community
This is for seniors who want to have an independent lifestyle but need help with things like meals, dressing, bathing, medication, transportation, and personal mobility. People live in their own apartments or rooms. Residents can usually choose between an all-inclusive or fee-for service pricing model. All-inclusive means there’s one monthly fee that covers rent, meals and any additional services a resident chooses. Fee-for-service means a resident pays only for those services they use. Services offered at these facilities typically include housekeeping, access to health services, staff help for personal needs, an emergency call system, exercise programs, medication management, laundry service, and social and recreational activities.
Adult Day Care
If a senior is living at home and is being cared for by a caregiver, adult day care gives the older adult the chance to get out of the house and engage in some activities with other seniors. While at adult day care, they’re in a professional care setting where they’re supervised. The older adults can socialize and enjoy activities with their peers, and the family caregivers get the peace of mind of knowing that their loved ones are being taken care of. Meals are provided and needed health services are available.
A nursing home is for people who can’t be cared for at home and need 24-hour nursing care, daily living assistance, and on-site medical care. People can be there for a short time to recover after being in a hospital or be there on a more permanent basis. Residents live in private or semi-private rooms. Meals are provided as well as physical, speech, and occupational therapy. They often have social activities for the residents. Some have special units for Alzheimer and dementia patients.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
CCRCs are on the costly end of the spectrum of senior housing, but they allow the senior to “age in place.” They’re a combination independent living, assisted living, and nursing home. People live independently as long as they can. As time passes, if they need help, they can get that help in that same community. Housing is typically a single-family home, apartment, or condo. They can move into an assisted living or skilled nursing area in that community when the need arises. CCRCs provide health services, meals, personal care, housekeeping, transportation and, social/educational activities.
Here’s a helpful chart created by Senior Living that shows the different kinds of senior care and their level of cost and care.