Assisted Living Communities
Assisted Living Facilities are a type of senior care community for seniors who want to live independently but require various amounts of assistance with performing daily tasks. Assisted living communities are non-medical and typically do not have nurses or doctors on staff. Caregivers at assisted living facilities are first aid and CPR certified and trained in assisting senior with activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, grooming, toileting, and dressing. Often, the biggest benefactor of assisted living communities is the family member that can sleep easy knowing their loved one is being supervised 24 hour a day and a plan is in place in case of emergencies.[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
Most assisted living communities have private and semi-private, or shared rooms. The living environment is very lax without set schedules for meal times or other activities. Residents of assisted living facilities are encouraged, not required, to participate in activities such as bingo games, movie screenings, exercise classes, or other physical and mental developmental programs. Although not all communities offer free transportation services, most assisted living communities will offer some form of solution to transport residents to and from medical appointments, religious events, and/or group outings organized by the community.
The cost of assisted living communities ranges based on a few criteria including location, amenities, and level of care (often determined by number of staff members). Some facilities will also offer a 24 hour night aide who is designated to be awake and wandering the community, looking after residents, throughout the night. Typically, assisted living communities are paid for by private funds of seniors or their family members. Medicare, Social Security, and other government programs typically do not cover the costs of care at assisted living facilities.[/read]
Independent Living, also described as Retirement Communities, Retirement Homes, Senior Apartments, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities vary in their services and amenities greatly. Communities are designed specially for seniors and recreate a residential or communal living environment without the hassles of maintenance or management of a home. Most Independent Living Communities don`t have doctors or nurses on staff, but they do typically have caregivers to assist with daily tasks, housekeeping, and meal preparation.[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
Residents of Retirement Communities live independently and are able to participate in as many or as few activities as they`d like. These settings give seniors the opportunity to make new friendships, create new bonds with their peers and participate in a myriad of activities such as holiday celebrations, arts and crafts, educational classes and lectures, field trips, move nights, or even bingo games! Some Independent Living Communities may offer a swimming pool, fitness center, or even a golf and tennis club.
In regards to the health and care aspects of Retirement Communities, the available services vary from community to community, but many are designed to care for seniors for the remainder of their lives, without a need to relocate. Beginning with retirement, seniors are able to move into these communities and the level of care advances as their needs do. Most facilities offer assisted living services and some even have built in nursing homes and memory care units.
The cost of retirement communities varies greatly depending on geographic location, amount of activities, and the level of care. Communities typically charge a flat rate for the room which is occupied and additional fees are added depending on the level of care required. Some communities calculate care rates based on generic charts or services while others create their rates based on the specific needs of an individual and how many staff hours they foresee being required to properly care for that individual.[/read]
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Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE)
Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, commonly referred to as RCFEs or Board and Care, are smaller, home-like settings, for seniors that prefer to be in a residential setting and do not require 24 hours nursing care. Residential Care Facilities for Elderly are similar to Assisted Living communities, in that they are considered non-medical facilities, however they offer a more personal and attentive living environment. RCFEs provide room, board, housekeeping, and personal care assistance with basic activities like personal hygiene, dressing, eating, and walking.
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Typical Board and Care Homes are licensed for six (6) beds and offer private or semi-private room, three home cooked meals (plus snacks), medication management, and housekeeping. RCFEs are not medical facilities and do not have on-site nurses or doctors, however many have visiting professionals, including doctors, nurses, podiatrists, dentists, and physical therapists. The amenities available at facilities vary widely, and often impact the cost. When exploring board and care communities, be sure to differentiate between available activities, transportation services, and other factors that are important to your family.
Costs of a Residential Care Facility for Elderly vary based on criteria such as location (real estate values more heavily weigh on the overall cost), number of staff, room type/size, and etc.[/read]
Memory Care Communities
Memory Care is a type of care designed to cater to the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Many families prefer to keep their loved ones at their individual residence for as long as possible to maintain a recognizable environment, but at some point, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will need more care than what can be provided at home. An environment which can provide round the clock supervised care is best to meet the demands of these individuals. Memory care is available as a specialized unit within an assisted living facility or in some cases, entire communities are tailored to care for the specific needs of individuals with various degrees of the cognitive impairment.
[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]Memory care units or facilities typically offer a higher ratio of staff to residents, in comparison to other types of long term care, with specialized training for staff to ensure the safet of residents, including medical care, personal assistance, and support services. Features of some memory care communities include secured exits to prevent wandering and enhanced visual cues, such as signs or pictures, designed to help resident feel more oriented within their surroundings. Additionally, residents in memory care facilities generally require assistance with medication management, and daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and eating.
The cost of memory care is higher than standard assisted living services due to the additional staffing, various therapy and social programs. Most states require additional licensing for permission to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.[/read]