As you age, you may start thinking about where you should live or if you should remain in your family home. If you are still somewhat independent, you may be able to stay in your home if you feel more comfortable there. However, if you need nursing help or would like to be near other retirees, living in a senior community might be a better option. Here are some different senior living options available.
Independent Living Communities
Your first option is to live in an independent living community. Also called senior housing communities, these are in apartment or housing communities with other retirees but not necessarily seniors that are in need of nursing care. It is a great way to let you live independently and have an active lifestyle during retirement and socialize with others who are the same age and have shared interests. Independent living communities often provide apartments and condominiums. Some common amenities at these communities include games and activities, outdoor parks or walking trails to get some exercise, and transportation to nearby restaurants and shopping.
Assisted Living Communities
If you need some medical assistance, but not around-the-clock nursing care, you can choose to live in an assisted living community. You may live in an apartment similar to independent living or be in a bedroom in a larger building with others who live there. The main difference between assisted living and independent living is that, with assisted living communities, you have access to on-site healthcare services. For example, there are often people who cook and clean, help run errands, and visit you to take your vitals, help with medications, or perform basic examinations. There isn't a full medical staff like with nursing homes, but some medical care is still provided when it is needed.
Nursing homes are for seniors who are in need of nearly constant access to medical care. You might be recovering from a major illness or procedure or simply need more daily medical care. Seniors who are entering the first stages of Alzheimer's or Dementia often go to a nursing home so there is proper supervision. You might be in a nursing home if you just had major surgery and need a nurse or doctor around you at all times. In some cases, nursing homes are only temporary, while other seniors remain in the nursing home for end-of-life care. Since the most care is provided, these tend to be the most expensive options.