Updated: January 8, 2015 by Catharine D. Allado
There are several senior housing facilities available for seniors who want to remain active and independent. Active retirement communities and assisted living facilities are two of the most popular senior housing options that are designed to meet the needs of alert and independent seniors who have not experienced a significant decline in their health and do not require the complex medical services or level of care provided by skilled nursing facilities.
In This Active Retirement Article
An active retirement community is a senior housing option where residents live independently in an age-restricted community, generally for adults 55 years old and over. While some services are usually provided, such as landscape maintenance, shuttle services and leisure activities, assistance with activities of daily living activities, such as eating, dressing bathing, toileting, grooming and minor chores are not usually provided, although some active retirement communities may offer these services for an additional fee.
Active retirement communities are often made up of townhouses, condominiums, apartments or single-family homes.
Assisted living facilities provide their residents with a level of support that allows them to retain a good amount of independence while also receiving help with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming and minor chores. While these facilities are not intended for seniors in need of the level of care provided by nursing homes, some do offer medication administration and monitoring, as well as coordination of health care services with outside entities.
Generally, Assisted living is in a residential setting, may be in a home or individual apartments. This allows residents to enjoy a more home-like living experience.
The primary difference between Active Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Communities is the level of care provided. While both of these housing options provide the opportunity for seniors to maintain as much independence as possible, assisted living facilities provide a higher level of care by offering assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and provide assistance from a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Assisted Living is intended for seniors who do not have any serious medical conditions and have not experienced a significant decline in their physical or mental health.
Assisted living residents are not good candidates for independent living as they require assistance with at least one activity of daily living; whereas, active retirement community residents live independently, may still maintain employment and choose to live in a senior community where their neighbors are more likely to share their hobbies, interests and leisure pursuits.
When determining the level of care required for a senior loved one, an active retirement community may be the right choice for seniors who are alert, independent and does not require any assistance with activities of daily living. On the other hand, an assisted living facility may be the better option for seniors who may require assistance with at least one activity of daily living such as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming and minor chores.
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