Many Alternatives for senior housing exist today
There are more options available to aging adults than ever before. When the WWI/II generation was growing up, there was only nursing homes which were essentially skilled nursing. Since that time, it has evolved to include:
Independent Housing – This type of housing is similar to a condo arrangement but in a neighborhood of other similarly aged residents. Activities and meals are often offered. Residents typically still drive and take care of themselves. They are socially active.
Assisted Living options were designed to help those who are losing their ability to take care of themselves and may need assistance with activities of daily living such as toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, assistance with eating, incontinence, medication administration, meal preparation and daily checks. All ALF residences require that the older adult is able to reach a “pathway to safety” on their own. They are not able to accept anyone who is a danger to themselves or others. A bed-bound individual will need to go to skilled nursing.
ALF2: Can accept residents who can make the pathway to safety with minimal hand direction and 3 verbal cues.
ALF3: Can accept residents mentally unable to make the pathway to safety.
***These criteria differ in each state. Check with your states regulations on senior housing.
Skilled Nursing – Skilled nursing handles higher levels of care. A nurse in on duty 24/7. Medications are administered by an RN and most activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, transferring, and toileting require assistance. These residents require a great deal more
care and supervision. Many have dementia issues as well. Consequently, it is the most expensive level of care.
Group homes – This type of housing is being offered to reach out to individuals who do better in a smaller setting and need the socialization of others. Meals are offered; laundry services and housekeeping are available . A medical technician can administer medications. Dolan Homes offer this type of model designed for residents with dementia so that they can age in place.
In the past, facilities designed for seniors were built with a medical model in mind. That is changing. The medical model proved unfriendly to most seniors and is now being changed to more of a social model…more sunlight, walking areas, and social settings reminiscent of home. Residents are more apt to have their own room instead of rooming with another person. Nursing centers and administration are kept less visible so that the residence has a more home-like feel.