Possible Options

Many can take for granted the fact that they live by themselves, whether the person is older or not. Many people move out of their parents’ house and move into an ―independent lifestyle‖ at some point in their lives. To most seniors, ―independently‖, means living in one’s own home, whether it is with or without financial support. Most of the time seniors will receive financial assistance from the children or others and there may even be an arrangement for a child or hired aid to help 2-3 days a week for 4 hours a day with chores, etc. In some cases, a live-in child or aid is necessary to assist with daily living activities. Regardless, the senior is given a feeling of control by living in his or her home, whether the home is a house in a retirement community, or any other home. They do not live in a room in the children’s home or in a community where the senior is expected to follow rules that affect basic choices, such as decisions about food, pets, transportation, relationships, and conjugal visits.

An assisted living facility can be defined as ―a form of housing arrangement that provides some assistance with activities of daily living.‖ In a broader sense it would be a group housing community with additional services, or more specifically, a facility that provides housing, and some level of personal care. The major difference is that the help with activities of daily living (ADL) occurs at the ―facility,‖ which can cause any senior to be scared. The term facility signifies a controlled environment. The Assisted Living Federation of America, a facility can cover a wide range of settings, care offerings, and residences. It could be anything from convenient high-rise apartments to converted Victorian homes, to campus communities with all the charms of a small town. The size of a residence can range form 25 to 120 units and can differ in size from a single room to a full apartment. All assisted living facilities are the same in that the resident is sacrificing his or her ―independent‖ living and some independence, in exchange for readily accessible assistance with daily activities. Even though this can help friends and family to be more comfortable with the senior’s location and well-being, it can be devastating for an elder.

In comparison to the fairly recent advent of assisted living facilities, nursing homes have existed in the United States from the early 1900’s when most states sent their impoverished citizens to poor farms or almshouses. Therefore, it is not out of the ordinary for a senior to view the idea of being put into a nursing home as negative.

Living arrangements are available that will combine parts of independent living, assisted living and nursing homes. Continuing care retirement communities represent a structure that offers varying levels of support, which can range from a senior living in his or her own room or apartment and making most daily decisions; to assisted living where the resident receives help with daily activities; to a nursing home that provides complete assistance. The most similar characteristic of these communities is that a resident can transition across the varying levels of care without leaving the community.

Leave a Reply