Senior Living Levels of Care
55+ Communities, which sometimes may be called age qualified communities, active adult housing, age-restricted communities or age-segregated communities, are communities with an age restriction for residence. These communities range from apartment complexes or condos, to single-family homes in a gated community, and 55+ communities are typically have community amenities such as clubhouses, fitness centers, tennis courts, pools and spas, game rooms, golf course access, cooking classes, and other community amenities.
Independent Living communities are senior housing communities designed for independent seniors that desire the conveniences of community living. These communities offer a senior lifestyle filled with recreational, educational and social opportunities. Independent Living Communities may also called “Retirement Communities”, “Congregate Living” or “Senior Apartments”.
Some communities offer an enriched lifestyle with recreational and educational opportunities (Congregate Living or Retirement Communities), while others provide housing with only a minimal amount of amenities or services (Senior Apartments). Both types of independent living allow seniors more time to themselves and less time performing home maintenance and yard work.
Hundreds of thousands of American seniors utilize assisted living, a figure that is only growing. For these seniors, assisted living combines residential housing, assistance in daily activities, and some healthcare. These communities also strive to provide an atmosphere that is comfortable and engaging for their residents.
Assisted living may also be known as assisted care, assistive care, residential care, supportive living, basic care, personal care, adult living facilities, adult foster care, or personal care in certain states. They may be free-standing community, a section of a continuing care community, nursing home, or an addition to an independent living community.
Although many Assisted Living communities and Nursing Homes cater to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other related memory disorders or dementia, there is a growing trend towards facilities that provide specialized care and housing tailored to the special needs of individuals with this disease. These facilities offer care that fosters residents’ individual skills and interests in an environment that helps to diminish confusion and agitation.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are residential campuses that provide a continuum of care—from private units to assisted living and then skilled nursing care, all in one location. CCRCs are designed to offer active seniors an independent lifestyle from the privacy of their own home, but also include the availability of services in an assisted living environment and on-site intermediate or skilled nursing care if necessary.
Nursing Homes, or Skilled Nursing Facilities, are designed for seniors who are in need of 24-hour nursing care. Nursing Facilities provide many of the same residential components of other senior care options including room and board, personal care, protection supervision, and may offer other types of therapy. Their onsite medical staff sets them apart from other types of senior housing. Nursing care is provided by registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), and nurses aides at all hours of the day.