What is the differences between senior assisted living, Independent living, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), nursing homes and retirement living? Who goes where?
A good way to think of what senior goes where is to think about the level of health of the senior and whether that senior needs medical care or not.
Most healthy seniors start off in an independent living facility or retirement community where they enjoy independence and are not in need of much medical care. These seniors are active, and these types of facilities or communities offer activities that promote social interaction and some level of security. If the senior needs some medical care they can hire an outside home health care provider or a skilled nurse at their own expense.
The next level of care would be the assisted living facility. Here most of the seniors enjoy an independent lifestyle however they need some help with activities like eating, bathing, transportation, toileting, cooking and housekeeping. Family involvement is encouraged and there are typically group dining areas and other common areas to promote social activity and recreation.
The next level of care would be the nursing home. Here is where the senior needs more medical care and may or may not mobile and may or may not have a disease like Alzheimer's or dementia.
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) combine all three levels. The senior can start in the independent living building and as they age, can move on to the assisted living building and then on to the nursing home. Some CCRCs have a compound of buildings fully staffed to meet all levels of care needs. Many CCRCs are now offering outside home health care as well.