With more than 50 million baby boomers currently at or beyond retirement age, it should come as no surprise that the housing market has made some changes to appeal to that population. In past generations, an elderly person who could no longer live independently had limited choices. They were either taken in by a family member or they moved into a nursing home. An emerging marketplace has introduced new lifestyle options that need to be defined. The first step in understanding the options is to understand the labels and what they mean.
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Assisted living facilities are relatively new to the marketplace. An uninformed person might think this is simply a new term for a nursing home. In reality, an assisted living facility is not like a nursing home; a closer comparison to a nursing home would be a hospital. Nursing homes have patients who must rely on others for all their medical and custodial care. Assisted living facilities have residents who live as independently as possible, knowing that assistance is available when needed. Assisted living facilities encourage as much independence as possible, providing assistance only as required by the resident. Depending on the facility, residents may live in a private unit, or have a roommate. Meals are prepared by staff and served in a community dining room. This arrangement helps to encourage friendships and socializing. Some of the typical services offered at assisted living facilities are laundry, medication management, physical therapy, and on-site medical staff. These facilities organize a wide variety of events for residents. Classes, local performers, and guest speakers are some of the activities that are typically on the agenda. Participation in activities is voluntary, so residents are able to pick and choose according to personal interests. Assisted living provides a semi-independent environment for seniors without the constraints that may be present in a nursing home.
Independent living facilities are another lifestyle option for today’s senior. Residents enjoy the privacy of their own apartment unit, including a kitchen. Residents who are still able to drive keep their own car. For those residents who need some assistance, laundry services, medication management are the typical services available. The facility offers a community dining room where meals are prepared and served by the staff. Planned activities are abundant to encourage socializing among the residents. Classes, clubs, guest speakers, and dances are the usual types of activities on the agenda. The social events offered provide residents the opportunity to meet others with common interests. So, independent living facilities are designed for seniors who may require some assistance in daily life, but still have the capacity and desire to continue to participate in social interaction.
The other popular housing option for seniors has become the active senior community. Though this lifestyle provides no daily assistance with personal care, the communities are known to offer great advantages in convenience. They are planned developments of single-family homes, usually on small lots. The homes are designed and built to be low maintenance and convenient for senior living. Active senior communities include amenities like golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball courts, and swimming pools. The planning also includes a social hall where clubs can meet, or residents can hold meetings or parties. The communities usually accommodate a shopping area so that groceries and other essentials are just a walk or a short drive away. For many seniors, the convenience of the lifestyle found in an active senior community is a welcome change. When an older family home becomes an empty nest and burdensome in its maintenance needs, an active senior community can be an ideal choice.
Researching current lifestyle options is the first step in helping an elderly loved one to make a decision. Knowing the options available helps the family evaluate the best setting. Every individual has different needs that will determine their best lifestyle choice.
OurSeniors.net provides help by providing resources about the options available. OurSeniors.net has created a list of resources to help sort through the many senior lifestyle choices available throughout Central Florida. OurSeniors.net provides support in evaluating choices in senior living to suit individual needs.
You can reach our office by phone at 386-516-3969
Ourseniors.net wishes you many happy years of Senior Living, especially Senior Living Florida style!