Click here to view our visitor guide for the Abramson Center.
Click here to view our visitor guide for Birnhak Transitional Care at Lankenau Medical Center.
Make a gift to our COVID Crisis Campaign - Click here to learn more.
There are many types of senior living facilities designed to meet different levels of need as one ages. This article explores the most common types of senior living facilities and also looks at aging-in-place.
Independent living is the most hands-off of all the senior living facility options. Here seniors live in a community setting and may have access to social programs and resources. They have the freedom to manage their own lives and determine when to eat, leave the community, and what activities to attend. Seniors will also be responsible for taking their own medication and arranging their own medical appointments as healthcare services are not provided. Amenities such as housekeeping, meals and transportation may be available but at an additional fee.
Assisted living, which may be referred to as personal care in certain states, is a popular type of senior living facility. One important benefit is that meals and housekeeping are provided. Meals are often served in a community setting which reduces the risk for weight loss and isolation. Assistance is provided to seniors who need help with dressing, bathing and medical management. Medical care is often provided in varying degrees based on the facility, either on campus or off campus. Transportation may be provided as part of the monthly fee or for an additional cost. Choosing an assisted living facility solves many concerns of seniors and their family. In Pennsylvania, assisted living facilities must enable the senior to age-in-place as their needs increase, eliminating the need to move to a nursing home.
In Pennsylvania, personal care is similar to assisted living except should the senior’s needs increase to a point where they are unable to age-in-place, they will need to move to a long-term care facility.
Long-term care is often required for seniors who need a high-level of assistance with many aspects of their daily life, including dressing, bathing, and medication management. Both nurses and aides are available to provide assistance and ensure safety, including preventing falls and monitoring wounds. Physical and occupational therapy are often provided on-site at this type of senior living facility. Safety standards are in place to monitor falls and wounds. Long-term care facilities also promote the importance of recreation and social activities, which are an important part of the senior’s psychosocial health.
Staying at home
Many seniors today prefer to stay in their own homes as they age. There are options to help make this a safe, viable reality.
Many seniors prefer to age-in-place, remaining in their homes. This can be done with planning and insight and mild modifications to their existing home to ensure the safety of the senior. Safety proofing a home may involve adding guardrails in bathrooms and entrance ways, non-slip or non-skid mats in bathrooms and walkways, or stair climbers. Adding additional lighting is also an important part of safety proofing so that seniors can adequately see which can reduce tripping risks. Home care companies can help assess what supports should be put in place to promote the highest level of safety for any senior who wishes to age-in-place.
Another option as one grows older is to downsize from a large house with steps to a smaller, one level home. This can help seniors remain independent while ensuring a safer, simpler lifestyle.
There are many senior-living facility options to help older adults live a happy, healthy life. Knowing the level of care that is appropriate can help you to determine which option is best for you or your loved one. For help evaluating your loved ones needs, call Abramson Care Advisors, free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 215-371-3400.