5 Ways Senior Housing Differs From Assisted Living

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5 Ways Senior Housing Differs From Assisted Living

senior housing

Nursing homes, assisted living, and senior living communities are often used interchangeably. However, there are significant differences among different types of senior housing. By understanding the differences between assisted living and independent living, for example, the stigma associated with moving to an independent housing community can be removed so seniors can take full advantage of its benefits.

Here are five differences between senior housing and assisted living:

Level of Care

The biggest difference between assisted living and senior housing is the level of care provided. Assisted living is for seniors who need assistance with daily activities. Specifically, residents in assisted living may have dementia, mobility disabilities, or chronic illness that limits their ability to care for themselves. Nursing aides or certified nursing assistants (CNAs) typically assist residents in assisted living facilities with:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Remembering to take medications
  • Moving about the facility
  • Bathing
  • Using the toilet

Nursing homes, by contrast, are for seniors who need skilled nursing care. Nursing homes typically have registered nurses (RNs) on call around the clock to care for residents’ medical needs. Nursing homes may overlap with assisted living when residents require both skilled nursing and assistance with daily living.

Senior housing is for seniors who do not require nursing care or assistance in daily living. Residents in senior housing live independently and have active lives. As a result, the level of assistance is usually limited to cooking, cleaning, and landscaping maintenance. Senior living communities may also provide optional services, such as transportation to shopping and medical appointments.

Personal Space

While accommodations may vary in nursing homes and assisted living centers, the typical accommodation would be little more than a bedroom. In the senior housing Dallas market, however, accommodations are much larger and have the amenities of an apartment.

The additional space and privacy offered by independent living communities allow you to keep your belongings, rather than storing them, when you move into your new home. Moreover, you have a place to retreat to when you need some personal time or are hosting guests.

Types of Activities

Because residents of senior living communities live relatively healthy lives, residents have more freedom to engage in their chosen hobbies and activities. For example, many communities have fitness rooms and provide transportation to local recreation centers or senior centers for sports and exercise opportunities.

Likewise, senior communities are able to plan outings that would be impossible for assisted living or nursing home residents. These outings can include cookouts, movie nights, and visits to the local mall, theatre, casino, or library.

Personal Activities

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are usually not for seniors who continue to work or volunteer. However, active seniors can continue to work while residing in a senior living community. In 2016, a Pew Research poll revealed nearly 20% of seniors were still working full-time jobs. Whether you telecommute, volunteer for charities or community service groups, or drive to an office every day, senior housing can provide the independence to continue working.

Moreover, since senior living communities offer services such as cooking and cleaning, you will be able to enjoy social and recreational activities during your off-hours rather than spending your free time doing chores.

Neighbors

Socialization is often one of the main reasons for seniors to consider a senior living community. All residents in an independent living community have similar levels of activity and health. This may not necessarily be true in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

This means that you will not only find neighbors and friends who have similar life experiences, but they will also match your activity level. Socialization with peers can be especially helpful for active seniors. Research suggests that socialization can improve your quality of life in many ways:

  • Improve brain function: Having friends is linked to a reduced likelihood of dementia.
  • Boost mood: Seniors with friends are happier, have a lower incidence of depression, and are more motivated to take care of themselves.
  • Increase activity level: You are more likely to exercise when you have friends who exercise with you.

Senior living communities are for active seniors rather than those who require medical care or assistance with daily living. As such, these communities offer independence, privacy, activities, and neighbors befitting an active lifestyle. Moreover, these communities will not disrupt your ability to continue outside activities. Contact Lakeland Hills Senior Living to learn more about why a senior living community could be perfect for you.

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