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In Caregivers,Dementia,Health Care,Planning

Senior Living: Where to start?

Exterior of senior living building

The United States has more than 30,000 residential care communities and more than 15,600 nursing homes in the United States, according to the CDC. Navigating the variety of senior care options can be confusing, but we’re here to help. Below you’ll find common models explained, so that you can choose the appropriate level of care.

Independent Living is ideal for individuals who can still function independently but prefer access to assistance when needed. These communities provide convenient access to dining, medical care, entertainment and much more. Hospitality services like laundry and housekeeping may or may not be included in the monthly rental fee.

Assisted Living communities are primarily for older adults who need socialization. The services offered are based on social, not medical, needs. Residents may have medical needs, but they must be able to manage them by themselves. These communities help with activities of daily living (ADL’s) such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. Additionally, staff can help with laundry, housekeeping, shopping, and transportation.

Personal Care communities are for seniors who need more medical attention. The residents in personal care need help with testing, medications, and other nursing services in addition to the services they would receive in an assisted living setting.

Memory Care is often a subset of an assisted living or personal care community. However, memory care buildings exist, too. Memory care is a distinct form of long-term care that provides care specifically for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. These units are typically secure with 24-hour supervision.

Skilled Nursing Care provides medically necessary services including rehabilitation and other related health services to patients who need nursing care, but don’t require hospitalization. The staff in skilled nursing settings often include registered nurses and physical, speech, and occupational therapists. These services can be needed for short-term rehab or long term for patients who need supervised care due to a chronic condition.


For more information on senior living options in Kentucky, visit the Kentucky Senior Living Association website.  If you or your loved one is searching for senior housing, ElderServe’s Care Managers can help.

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