What is the difference between assisted living and independent living, and which is the right choice or option for you or your loved one?
“Senior living is kind of an umbrella, more of an overarching term that incorporates the aspects of independent living, assisted living and memory care primarily,” says Kevin Bowman, executive vice president of community operations at Brookdale Senior Living, the largest senior living provider in the U.S.
Traditional nursing home facilities tend to fall outside the senior community realm. “Sometimes we think of skilled nursing as a bit separate, as some senior living providers don’t provide skilled nursing services,” says Bowman.
Assisted living is nothing new, but the Putnam Heritage style of assisted living is unique. First of all, we have one all-inclusive affordable daily rate which includes a private studio apartment suite, all of our amenities, 24-hour assistance care, activities, dining, snacks, beverages, laundry service, housekeeping, tissue, toilet paper, and paper towels. The rate remains the same even as a resident’s needs increase. There are no additional charges, no hidden fees, and no level-of-care increases.
Independent living at Putnam Heritage is just what the name says – living independently, on your terms, without routine care and supervision. We have residents who are fully capable of handling all or most of their own needs without any help whatsoever. They simply like to live here and enjoy what we have to offer. They come and go as they please and if they want something, we’re here to serve them whenever we are needed. It’s a convenience and comfort that enables them to do more of what they want to do.
Here are some basic categories of senior residence types, with some overlap among them:
For active older adults with little to no need for personal care or assistance, independent living settings such as apartments or villas offer meals, services, activities and social gathering sites that promote ease, convenience and a sense of community for residents. There may be an onsite or on-call health care provider available.
For older adults with health or mobility issues requiring more support, assisted living residences offer services such as medication management and assistance with personal activities such as toileting, grooming and dressing. Services typically include meals, housekeeping, laundry and transportation. Activities that foster mental and physical stimulation and social engagement are a major focus in assisted living.
Also known as adult family homes, these relatively small residences are located in regular neighborhoods, where licensed caregivers provide meals and assistance with personal activities like hygiene and dressing for about six to 10 older adults, frequently with some level of cognitive impairment. Often, these are single-level homes to make mobility easier and avoid fall risks from stairs.
Memory care may be necessary for older adults with cognitive impairment or dementia. Safety and security are a paramount concern in memory care residences. Staff or team members undergo additional training and development to work with these residents and provide tailored activities and programs to connect with them wherever they are cognitively and emotionally day to day.
Continuing care retirement community
Also known as life plan communities, CCRCs represent a specific product line encompassing a spectrum of residence and care levels that can range from independent living through assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities. CCRCs represent a significant financial investment, typically requiring an upfront membership fee known as a buy-in.