Senior Housing

Senior housing is a group-living situation where seniors can live in proximity to their peers and partake of a wide range of activities and special services

4 basic types of Senior Housing

  • Independent Living
  • Assisted Living
  • Nursing Home/ Long term Care and Skilled Care/ Sub-Acute Rehabilitation
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community

Independent Living (I/L’s)

The physical structure of independent living communities can be quite diverse, from apartment- like building to small unattached homes. Amenities may differ in each community, from minimal to full spectrum as you would see in 4-5 star hotel. Of course with more amenities, the price base is increased due to the staffing needs involved.

Many I/L communities include a number of optional services:

  • Social activities
  • Libraries
  • Golf courses
  • Beauty shops
  • Tennis courts
  • Transportation
  • Gardens
  • Exercise facilities
  • Clubhouses
  • Pools/Saunas

Assisted Living

An Assisted Living Facility provides care for seniors who need some help with activities of daily living (A/L’s) yet wish to remain as independent as possible

The number of residents living in a facility can range from several to 300, with the most common size; between 25-120

The units vary in size from one room (studio) to a full apartment

Many have group dining areas and common areas for socialization and recreational activities

A/L’s provide different levels of Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) based on the persons needs

(ADL’s include: Bathing, eating, dressing, toileting and ambulation assistance)

A/L’s offer 24 hour supervision and limited medical care:

Nursing aides/attendants provide personal care nurses provide medication management and some nursing care-not skilled nursing

A/L’s also provide: Housekeeping, Transportation, and Meals

Dementia care/Memory support areas may be onsite

A/L’s can also provide respite care where a senior can temporarily receive care while their primary caregiver takes some personal time off

Other services may include:

  • Community Activities
  • Social events
  • Outings
  • Access to Physicians
  • Podiatrist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Shopping services
  • Laundry services
  • Exercise programs

*Many are licensed by individual States

Nursing Homes/ Long-term Care

Nurses (RN or LPN) who help provide 24 hour care to people who can no longer care for themselves due to physical, emotional, or mental conditions

Long-term care requires skilled supervision to ensure proper hydration and nutrition and prevent skin breakdown

Living arrangements typically are a private or shared room with a shared bathroom

New creative architectural designs are making some nursing home living arrangements more homelike. Using natural flooring and lighting and eliminating centrally located nursing stations help enhance livability and personal comfort, even allowing pets..

A licensed physician supervises each patient; a nurse or medical professional is almost always on the premises

Highly regulated by the state and federal government, *must be licensed

Long-term nursing care requires private pay until assets are depleted then can qualify for Medicaid assistance, if the care community you chose accepts Medicaid.

Many long-term insurance policies may cover a portion of these costs for a time

Care is expensive and the cost continues to rise, with the average cost nationally can range from $90 -$192 per day or $35,000-$70,000 annually

Skilled Care/ Sub-Acute Rehabilitation

Skilled Medical Care-services of trained professionals to provide care for a limited period of time following a seniors injury or illness, after an admitted hospital stay of 3 days or more Private insurance and Medicare pay for this skilled service only for a limited period of time, based on meeting criteria and goals set up by the staff. When goals are reached; discharge arrangements are made, as payment source will no longer continue to pay.

These services are provided in the Long-term Care setting, specific rooms are designated to provide this type of care. The services listed below are provided on site and will include all necessary equipment needed for the clients’ therapy regime.

Registered Nurse (RN) providing wound care and dressing changes or administration of IV antibiotics due to a severe infection

Physical Therapist (PT) for strength and balance problems making it difficult for a patient to walk or get on and off the bed, toilet or furniture

Speech Therapist (ST) helping a person communicate after a stroke, and or swallowing issues.

Occupational Therapist (OT) helping a person returning to independence with dressing, grooming and eating

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Seniors who choose to live in a Continuing Care Retirement Community find it reassuring that their long-term care needs will be met without the need to relocate. The community has all senior living arrangements available. The senior can move along the continuum, as health care needs change.

Seniors who are independent may live in a single-family home, apartment or condominium within the Continuing Care retirement complex

If they begin to need help with activities of daily living (ADL’s) or having the need for memory support due to a type of dementia they may be transferred to an assisted living (AL).

If the need for total dependent care they can reside in Long term care/Nursing home.

The client requires Skilled-care/ Sub-acute rehabilitation services and they qualify under Medicare guidelines; services can be provided as needed.

The Continuing Care Retirement Community model ensures that the senior stays in the same location as their needs change.

CCRC’s are the most expensive long-term-care solution available to seniors, monthly maintenance fees can range from $400 to $2500 or more.

Usually there are buy-in, or entrance, fees that can range from $20,000 to over $600,000 Residents entering a CCRC sign a long-term contract that provides for housing, services and nursing care:

Life Care/Extensive Contract: provides unlimited long-term nursing care at little or no additional cost for as long as the nursing services are necessary. This type of agreement is the most expensive, but also the least risky

Modified/Continuing Care Contract: provides long-term health care or nursing services for a specified period of time. After the specified care period, the person is responsible for the additional cost. This contract is the middle-priced one, with medium risk.

Fee-For-Service Contract: requires that residents pay separately for all health and medical services and for long-term care. This is the least expensive, but most risky, contract. If a person needs more extensive care later on, the cost can be very high.