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Senior man that needs assisted livingHave you visited your elderly parents or relative recently? Did you notice any health, behavioral or physical changes? It’s always important to observe how your elderly loved ones are doing at home and try to see if there are any signs that will tell you that they are no longer able to live at home safely.

If you think that they require additional assistance at home, be sure to talk to them and see how you can help. Maybe they need a part-time caregiver or maybe they prefer to move to a senior care home or a senior care facility that way they do not have to worry about housekeeping and other things that they need to do in order to maintain their home.  

There are a lot of available care options for the elderly. It can be overwhelming at first, especially if you do not know what type of care facility would be the right for your loved one. Having a better understanding of all the available options can definitely make the process much easier and less stressful. Learn and understand the different types of care facilities and care home options for seniors.

Updated: January 7, 2020


In This Assisted Living Article:

Senior Independent Living

Assisted Living

Board and Care Homes

Nursing Homes

Alzheimer’s Care

Continuing Care Retirement Communities


Independent Living

Independent living communities (also referred to as retirement communities) are the ideal senior living option for healthy and active seniors who want to live independently. This type of Senior Community offers a lot of educational, cultural and other social activities for entertainment. Many retirement communities feature extensive amenities such as hiking trails, swimming pools, golf courses, fitness clubs, monthly outings, and a lot more.

Senior Independent Living Community (Retirement Community) may be the right option if the senior

  • Does not require medical assistance
  • Prefers a low-maintenance home and/or lifestyle
  • Loves to socialize and participate in activities and programs in the community


Assisted Living

An assisted living facility is suitable for seniors who want to live fairly independently but need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Assisted living communities offer different levels of care. Assisted living facilities offer meals, housekeeping, social activities, and transportation. However, seniors in assisted living usually do not have any serious medical conditions as they are not required to have nurses and/or doctors on site at all times.

Assisted Living may be the right senior care home option if:

  • The senior wants to maintain independence
  • The senior is still active and wants to participate in social activities
  • The senior needs help with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing toileting, med management, etc.
  • The senior does not require 24-hour supervision


Board and Care Homes

Board and care homes, also known as group homes are similar to Assisted Living communities, but they’re a lot smaller. Typically, board and care homes are licensed to provide 24-hour care services for about 6 seniors in a residential setting. Board and care homes look like regular homes, which are set-up to provide a safe environment for seniors. Caregivers usually live in the home and the caregiver to resident ration is usually 3:1.

Board and Care Home may be the best care option if:

  • The senior wants to be in a residential setting or a smaller care facility
  • The senior needs more attention/care
  • The senior is not too social and/or does not like to participate in activities
  • The senior needs help with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing toileting, med management, etc.


Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide extensive medical care for seniors with serious medical conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from a registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse and/or certified nursing aide. Residents typically share a room, but private rooms are available as well. Nursing homes serve meals in a central dining area, and residents also have the opportunity to be involved in social activities.

A Nursing Home may be the right option if:

  • The senior has a serious medical condition that requires around-the-clock nurse assistance
  • The senior experiences mobility issues
  • The senior needs constant monitoring 


Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s care facilities specialize in caring for people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Their caregiving staff are trained to care for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. Residents have an option to stay in a private or semi-private room and have structured activities all throughout the day. Similar to an assisted living community, an Alzheimer’s care facility will also provide personal services like help with eating, toileting, bathing, grooming, dressing, etc. Additionally, most Alzheimer’s care facilities feature 24-hour support, a higher level of security to protect wanderers, and color-coded and/or circular layouts to prevent confusion. 

Alzheimer’s Care may be the right option if:

  • The senior requires specialized care for Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia
  • The senior is a wanderer or has a tendency to wander


Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing care retirement communities are senior care facilities that offer flexible accommodations intended to meet the changing needs of seniors. They provide appropriate levels of senior care support for independent living, assisted living, memory care or nursing care all in one facility so that seniors can move there and never worry about moving again. 

A Continuing Care Retirement Community may be the right option if:

  • The senior is at least 55 years old and independent
  • The senior would like to select from a wide range of services and amenities
  • The senior prefers privacy, but may require assistance later on
  • The senior wants to “Age in Place.” 


Making the Senior Living Facility move is a big change for you and your family. It can definitely be very overwhelming at first. Starting the  search early and familiarizing yourself and your family with the different care options in the area is very important. This will give you more time to fully explore all the care options and help you and your family make an educated decision by choosing the best care option for your elderly loved one, thus, making the senior living transition much easier and less stressful. 



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