Assisted Living Options

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The number of senior living alternatives has grown dramatically in recent years, making it much easier for potential residents to find something ideally suited to their own situation. But with all of these new and more specialized choices, it’s become more confusing for those researching the subject.

We know that difficulty in understanding Assisted Living options is a common dilemma for people and their families. Just finding summaries of the primary assisted living options in one place can be a challenge. To help, we put together the information below as a place to start. Once you know your options, it will be easier to make the right choice.

Assisted Living includes a spectrum of options

As you’ll see below, Assisted Living is a term that covers a wide variety of possibilities. The first category, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) or Life Care Communities, is right for people who want an independent lifestyle and the convenience and security of having services available within the community.

Primary Assisted Living options to consider

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

In Continuing Care Retirement Communities or Life Care Retirement Communities, residents normally move-in while they are fully healthy. They are typically given a medical examination and meet the community’s minimum medical requirements. Once they live in the community, Assisted Living services are available to them as they become needed, either for a short-term recuperation or for long-term care. Other services can include: medical care, possibly with on-site physicians as well as emergency response, assisted living and skilled nursing services.

In most cases, the costs of the additional services are already included in the resident’s upfront and monthly fees so the move to Assisted Living and/or Skilled Nursing doesn’t incur an additional expense.

Licensed Assisted Living Communities

A more technical term for an Assisted Living Community is “Residential Care Facility for the Elderly” (RCFE). These communities primarily provide Assisted Living services, but they also offer independent living as an option. They generally accommodate seven or more residents and provide apartment-style or hotel-style living with common areas for residents. They offer a supportive environment and assistance with aspects of daily living to help ensure health, safety and well-being while also providing support for the mind, body and spirit through daily scheduled activities.

Some residents choose to move in prior to needing Assisted Living services for the security of knowing that care is available when and if needed. The advantage then, to residents, is that they have the security of Assisted Living services being available as the need arises. They can also enjoy and benefit from social and educational programs and the freedom from having to prepare their own meals.

Residential Care Homes, which are sometimes known as Adult Family Homes, offer many of the services provided by Licensed Assisted Living Communities, except, they are regular neighborhood homes with staff having the responsibility for the safety and well-being of the adults. There are typically between six and eight residents in a Residential Care Home, and each one has a room, meals, laundry, supervision and the assistance of care-givers who are available around the clock. This offers a supportive small-group environment with a private room, meals and 24 hour care.

Memory Care Assisted Living Communities

Similar to other types of Assisted Living Communities, Memory Care Assisted Living Communities provide all the care and benefits of residential care, but they are specifically designed for residents who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. A Memory Care Community might provide memory care services exclusively or be a section of an Assisted Living Community. The community provides care for those with forgetfulness or related disorders.

Residents with memory challenges have as much freedom of movement as possible, but within a secured setting. The staff is specially trained to deal with residents who might be impulsive, disoriented or who could place themselves in danger.

Skilled Nursing Facilities or Nursing Homes

While Assisted Living Communities are designed for residents who might only need help with certain aspects of daily life, a Skilled Nursing Facility formerly known as a Nursing Home is designed for residents who require 24-hour access to nursing and medical care. In addition to the medical aspect, a Skilled Nursing Facility or Nursing Home also provides personal care such as help with eating, walking, bathing and using the toilet, as well as physical rehabilitative therapy after an accident or illness and occupational and speech therapy. Nutritional management, organized activities, social services, room, board and laundry are also provided.

At, we are dedicated to helping you and your family ease the search! Please visit our website or call us at 877-243-8073.