By Becky Dieter
Independent Living – Independent Living is a community for seniors usually 65+ where they can live independently in their own apartment or small villa. The community offers the freedom from home maintenance and care. Residents are provided with dining plans – usually 2 meals per day, housekeeping, maintenance, transportation, TV and sometimes internet service all included in the monthly rent. Additionally, the community will have a fitness center, pools, beauty and barber salons, art studios or crafting rooms, and entertainment spaces such as auditoriums, game rooms or movie theaters. There are activities available daily such as exercise classes, art classes, card games, lectures and entertainment. Socialization with other residents is abundantly available at these communities. If someone needs assistance or care in Independent Living they will have to hire outside assistance or there may be care on site they can hire.
Assisted Living – Assisted Living communities are for seniors that may need oversight and assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). The assistance can include help with bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, assistance to and from dining and activities and medication management. There is generally 24-hour care available, but it is not 1:1 care. Assisted Living communities are somewhat similar to Independent in that the senior has their own or a shared apartment. The community will have similar amenities and activities to Independent Living but they will provide 3 meals per day and more oversight. The community will do an assessment to determine what care is needed and a care level and cost will be assessed in addition to the rent.
Memory Care – Memory Care communities are a type of Assisted Living but is for those seniors with memory or cognitive challenges that need a safe, secured or specialized care. The communities provide both shared and private room options as well as activities that help to connect with those with memory or cognitive challenges. The communities have amenities like Assisted Living with activity rooms, hair salons, outside secured patios and exercise areas. Additionally, the caregivers have been trained in the nuances of working with seniors with these types of challenges. It is important to note that many seniors with a cognitive/memory diagnosis can live in Assisted Living and may not need to live in Memory Care. The Community and the senior’s physician can determine what would be most appropriate through their assessments.