Aging can bring physical and mental challenges that may make living alone difficult. While most of us would like to remain independent and to stay in our homes for as long as possible, that is not always the best option. Fortunately, there are many senior living options available. While some may involve you remaining at home, others may call for you to move to a community that will better suit your needs. If you are a caregiver facing the need to choose between senior living options, it is important to look for a facility that will meet the individual’s needs. Here are three of the factors that you should consider when deciding between independent and assisted living communities:
1. The Level of Care Provided
The point of an independent living community is to help residents with certain aspects of their day-to-day lives while allowing them to live independently for as long as they can. For example, an independent living community will provide help with basic living tasks like housekeeping and meal preparation. The community may also have a common area where residents can meet and socialize with each other.
In comparison, assisted living facilities provide hands-on care. Residents will get help with bathing themselves and with the administration of their prescription medication. These facilities will also have medical professionals on staff. In most facilities, these medical professionals will be certified nurse practitioners who will be on call around the clock.
2. The Living Arrangements
Independent living facilities may offer any of a number of different types of housing, including apartments and houses. Each house will be self-sufficient with its own kitchen and no spaces shared with other residents. Most assisted living communities function like apartments and may not have features like full kitchens. According to Sunshine Retirement Senior Community, the absence of kitchens is a measure meant to keep residents with cognitive impairments from harming themselves.
3. Cost and Payment Options
Residents in independent living communities will not be able to utilize the same financial resources as residents in assisted living facilities. Independent living communities do not provide residents with medical care which means that the costs associated with living in the community will not be covered by Medicare and Medicaid. They must pay their rent and any other costs out of pocket. Residents in assisted living communities have access to their payment resources that can help them to cover the cost of living in these communities.
The ideal senior living option is one that ensures that each resident’s present and future needs are met while still allowing them to be as independent as possible. Finding the right balance between an individual’s needs and financial resources can be difficult. If you are looking for the right senior living environment for yourself or for someone else, the factors above are just a few of the things that you will have to consider.