As you get older, it’s important to consider your living situation and how it may change in the future. If you’re thinking about moving into a retirement community, you’ll need to read up on the various types of senior living facilities and figure out which one would best suit you. Here is an easy guide to the different kinds of senior living facilities to help you make an informed decision.
Independent living facilities are perfect for people who want to maintain a high level of independence. This might be the right choice for you if:
- You are capable of looking after yourself
- Your medical needs are under control
- You want to spend more time around people your age to combat loneliness
- You like your own space
Moving into an independent living facility will give you your own front door and your own space. Usually, you’ll have your own apartment, suitable for single occupants or couples. The apartment will be located within a wider retirement community, so you’ll have easy access to facilities and amenities—things like stores, hair salons, fitness centers—and social events, but you won’t have people living in your space or providing unnecessary or intrusive care.
Assisted living options are the next step up. They’re aimed at people who like to maintain the independence of living alone or as a couple but who may require more hands-on care.
Help with activities of daily living (ADLs)—maintaining your personal hygiene, helping you with your personal grooming, using the toilet, eating, etc.—is provided, and accommodation usually includes emergency alarms and access to 24-hour support.
The best assisted living in St. Louis at McKnight Place, for example, also offers activities and social events, so you can live an active and fulfilling life while receiving the care you need to live your daily life.
If you have more serious and/or numerous healthcare needs, a skilled nursing facility might be the best option. Skilled nursing facilities are suitable for people with complex physical needs. Perhaps you have a number of different health conditions that need constant or frequent observation; if so, a skilled nursing facility may be the right choice for you.
In a skilled nursing facility, you’ll receive around-the-clock care, including help with ADLs and access to doctors and nurses. Stays in skilled nursing facilities may be temporary to help you get back on your feet after a bout of illness or may be longer-term if your care needs are permanent.
A senior living facility that specializes in memory care is recommended for anybody suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. The staff are well trained to help people with memory problems and other cognitive difficulties.
People with memory issues may forget to eat and drink regularly, be unable to take care of themselves, and struggle emotionally. Staff are at hand to provide nutritious meals and activities to occupy the minds of residents, easing the pressure on family members and ensuring a better quality of life.
Making the Right Choice
If you’re thinking of moving into a care facility, you should consider your current needs and what your needs are likely to be in the future.
Your health and happiness should be a top priority, so make a choice that could help you maintain a high quality of life, whatever that means for you.