If you have decided that a transition to senior living is in the best interest of your aging loved one, you may be wondering to yourself, “What comes next?”

Indeed, deciding on this next step is an important decision and you should be proud that you made it, but you have likely found that it can create more questions than it answers. One of the most common questions that arises from this decision is which level of care is the correct one? A cursory glance at the senior living options in your area will reveal a multitude of choices and terminology with which you may be unfamiliar, and this can complicate – or worse, delay – any sort of final decision. Below is a breakdown of common lifestyle or care levels and the situations to which they are best suited.

Older woman looking out of a windowAn important note: Regardless of which level a person may need right now, it is important to select a senior living community or organization that offers multiple options so that if their needs change, they do not need to be uprooted again. Continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, provide just that – an ecosystem of lifestyle and care levels that allow a person to seamlessly transition to a new level of support while remaining in the comfort and familiarity of their current environment.

Independent Living: This option essentially allows the individual to continue living at the same level of independence that they enjoyed in their own home, but with a few important caveats. First, it removes the burden of home maintenance and upkeep, both of which become increasingly difficult with age, especially for those living alone. Second, it eliminates the risk of social isolation, a common problem for seniors and one which can have very negative effects on their mental and emotional wellbeing.

Assisted Living: An option similar to independent living but designed for those who have come to require an additional level of assistance with mobility or the activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, bathing and hygiene. They still enjoy a high degree of autonomy in life but can also rely on additional support depending on their needs. It also means that there will be a staff member on hand in the event of an injury or emergency.

Memory Care: This level is for those experiencing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It provides a safe and protected lifestyle that prevents wandering and uses highly trained staff that are familiar with the behaviors and effects of these types of afflictions. There are also treatment measures and therapeutic activities designed to help slow the effects of dementia and allow the person to enjoy the good moments of every day in a pleasant and carefree environment.

Skilled Nursing: Skilled nursing provides an option both for short-term rehabilitation (e.g., recovery from a minor fall) and long-term care (e.g., ongoing care for a chronic illness). The benefit of choosing a CCRC with a skilled nursing program is the fluidity with which a person can be admitted and discharged, for example, if an assisted living resident broke their wrist and needed short-term rehab in the same community before returning to assisted living.

If you would like to learn more about a non-profit CCRC in Ontario, CA that offers all of these care levels and more, call us at (909) 983-0084 or contact us online at https://www.ichome.org/contact/ today.