We’ve developed this page full of downloadable eBooks, tip sheets, and frequently asked questions to help guide you through the myriad of information and issues facing older adults and their families as they consider living arrangements and services as they age. It is designed to provide you with options and ideas to care for yourself or a loved one. We will add more information over time, so keep checking back! You can also visit our corporate blog, Marjorie P. Lee blog and Deupree House blog which are published weekly for great information, tips, and guidance for older adults and caregivers.
When a senior living community combines all levels of care – from independent, to assisted, to memory support, rehabilitation and long term skilled nursing care – it is referred to as a continuing care retirement community, or CCRC. This type of community offers all levels of care, often under one roof or on one campus, so as to help seniors move through the continuum of care as their needs change. Sometimes there may be an entrance or community fee, plus a monthly fee, to live in a CCRC.
Not-for-profit senior living communities do not have to pay owners or shareholders and typically invest back into their community for the purpose of improving or expanding services for their residents. Many not-for-profit communities are affiliated with religious denominations or fraternal organizations. They may also partner with governmental agencies to help serve elders. For-profit senior living communities, on the other hand, often divide profits among their shareholders. The other major difference is that most not-for-profit organizations will not ask you to leave if you outlive your financial resources as many for-profits do.
Elders, who reside in independent living communities are able to continue their daily activities as they always have in their own homes, but generally enjoy the additional services and amenities offered by their community. They may cook their own meals, do their own laundry, clean their own living spaces, or any number of other tasks with very little to no assistance. Many independent living communities have additional life enrichment programs, transportation, and other support services. Sometimes elders may hire additional help for certain tasks, but that help is not necessary to carry out daily living tasks.
Independent living can consist of apartments, condominiums, or freestanding homes and these communities may accept adults of any age, usually 55 or older. Rather than a place to slow down and grow old, many residents describe them as a cross between a college, resort hotel, and summer camp!
Generally, assisted living is for seniors who may need extra help to complete some or many daily living tasks. Examples might be preparing meals, taking medications, getting dressed, bathing, or grooming. Assisted living options can range from providing limited assistance to providing 24-hour care. The cost will vary depending on the needs of the elder and services required as a caregiver’s time will be billed to the resident.
Also referred to as memory support, Alzheimer’s care or dementia care, memory care centers usually involve round-the-clock care for persons who have memory difficulties and can no longer complete daily tasks on their own. There are generally specialized activities or programming and specially trained staff. Many memory care centers in nursing homes are secured environments to discourage residents from wandering outside unescorted or getting lost.
Skilled care and rehabilitation facilities usually provide care similar to that which is provided in a hospital. Skilled care is typically the highest level of care that can be provided outside a hospital. Services are provided under the direction of a licensed physician and may include physical or occupational therapies. These stays may be of a shortened duration, ranging from 20 to 100 days. The cost of a short term stay is generally covered by private insurance or Medicare. Long term skilled nursing, often called a nursing home, provide around-the-clock skilled nursing on an ongoing basis.