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Types of Senior Care Along the Continuum

Choosing the right option for senior living


There are a multitude of senior living options. Choosing the right one for you or your loved one depends on your needs and personal preferences. Here is a short summary of options generally available in all areas. Please note that in some cases, facilities may go by other names depending on state specific rules as well as provider preferences so by all means, ask when you visit or for more information on options in your area, call a Juniper Village near you.

Independent Living
An independent living community is typically a multi-unit senior housing development that provides full apartment style living. Independent living communities may also offer supportive services such as meals, housekeeping, social activities, and transportation. Some names these communities go by include: Congregate Housing, Supportive Housing or Retirement Community.

Assisted Living
Assisted living facilities are for people needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) but wishing to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Assisted living exists to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes. Residents in assisted living centers are not able to live by themselves but do not require constant care either. Assisted living facilities offer help with activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, and assistance with medications. Many facilities also have centers for medical care; however, the care offered may not be as intensive as the care offered at a nursing home. Assisted living is not an alternative to a nursing home, but an intermediate level of long-term care appropriate for many seniors. Assisted living type communities may also be known as Personal Care.

Alzheimer’s and Memory Care
Assisted-living facilities for people with Alzheimer's disease are special environments and programs that are designed to maintain and if possible, enhance, functioning level of those with these difficult diseases. Sometimes referred to as "Special Care Units" (SCUs), SCUs are staffed with individuals who are specially trained to work with people who have Alzheimer's. Specialized indoor and outdoor environments are designed for safety, comfort and familiarity.

Nursing and Rehabilitative Care
A nursing home is a long-term care facility licensed by state regulation that offers room and board and health care services, including basic and skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, and a full range of other therapies, treatments, and programs. Residents of nursing centers require regular health monitoring and ongoing rather than intermittent nursing care. Some nursing facilities have designated units that serve individuals that require more acute or specialized services such as rehabilitation. These are known as sub-acute units. Sub-acute units typically are reimbursed through the Medicare program and cater to individuals who have recently been released from the hospital.

Respite Stays
Respite stays provide short-term or temporary care of a few hours or weeks of the sick or disabled to provide relief, or respite, to the regular caregiver, usually a family member. Most assisted living and skilled nursing communities will provide respite options if accommodations are available. A respite stay is a good way for some seniors to try a community before making a long term commitment.

Hospice is a program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end of life and for their families. Hospice care can be provided at home, in a hospice or another freestanding facility, or within a hospital.



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