Active Adult / 55+
Active adult communities seek to meet the needs of younger seniors and Baby Boomers by providing environments in which individuals can enjoy the many amenities of a community lifestyle. Communities are often adjacent to golf courses or other recreational facilities. Tennis courts, spas, swimming pools, hiking trails, biking and jogging paths, and fitness centers are among the many features generally available in active adult communities.
Retirement Communities (CCRC)
Retirement Communities or retirement homes are also referred to as continuing care retirement communities or CCRCs. These can also known as a life-care communities, and they are a type of retirement community where a number of aging care needs, from assisted living, independent living and nursing home care, may all be met in a single residence, whether in an apartment in a congregate housing facility, a room or apartment in an assisted living facility, and in a skilled nursing home.
The average CCRC in the United States contains just over 330 units, made up of 231 independent or congregate livin units, 34 assisted living beds, and 70 skilled nursing home beds. On average, an older resident in the United States will live in the congregate living facility for just over three years, the assisted living facility for one year, and the skilled nursing facility for nine months (America Seniors Housing Association, 2002
Independent living communities are residential are residential communities for active older adults who want an enjoyable lifestyle free of the worries and trouble of home maintenance. They are similar to any apartment, condominium, or single-family development, except that they provide special services, including security-an important consideration for many residents. Most independent living communities are fully secured; staff members greet and screen all visitors around the clock. Residents can leave home for extended periods of time knowing that their living quarters will be safe
Assisted Living / Personal Care
Designed for individuals who need some assistance with daily activities these communities are an important retirement living option. The living environments and amenities offered by communities vary widely; however, all communities provide residents with some level of daily assistance, which generally includes meal and housekeeping services.
These communities go by a variety of names depending on licensing and jurisdiction. They can be referred to as assisted living, board and care homes, personal care homes, residential care facilities, congregate care, retirement homes, assisted care facilities, as well as others.
Nursing & Rehabilitation
Nursing care facilities commonly referred to as nursing homes provide care for individuals who need skilled nursing care on a regular basis but do not need to be hospitalized. Care is administered by professionals under the direction of a physician. Facilities are regulated by state departments of health. Many nursing care facilities also offer sub-acute, respite, rehabilitation and other short-term care. Rehabilitation services can be especially helpful for individuals who are recovering from surgery or an illness.
Alzheimers & Dementia Care
Special care units are a relatively new concept, so certification standards for nursing homes and adult care residences do not specifically address these programs. You will need to rely on your own judgment when considering a special care unit.
Visit more than one special care unit and compare them. Use all your senses when you visit—sight, smell, and hearing are all important. Be sensitive to the overall atmosphere and how the staff interacts with the residents.
Ask about the number of staff on duty at all times and find out about any special training they’ve had. Generally, the more staff available, the higher the quality of care. Some reports find a daytime ratio of six residents to one staff person to be adequate in a special care unit; others feel that a ratio of eight to one can also result in quality care. At night, when residents are in bed, a higher patient to staff ratio may be fine.