In 2018, the US was home to 52 million people aged 65 and older. Come 2060; experts project these figures to go up by over 45%.
For that reason, housing options for seniors have become more varied, too. From nursing homes to senior communities, older adults now have many choices where to age.
Ready to learn more about what these senior housing arrangements are? Then read on, as this guide will explain all the basics you need to know.
Nursing homes serve older adults who need full-time medical care. They provide round-the-clock healthcare, medical, and nursing services. In many cases, their residents are fully unable to look after themselves.
Patients need a physician’s prescription before they can enter a home, though. After all, nursing homes are heavily regulated at the federal and state level. This helps ensure patients receive a high-quality level of healthcare services.
Independent Living Communities (ILCs)
ILCs are communities designed exclusively for active seniors, usually from age 55. They consist of complete housing options, such as apartments and single-family detached homes. They’re like a gated community, except all their residents are seniors.
ILCs are a great option for aging adults who want to stay as independent as they can. The houses themselves are aging-friendly, being more compact and easier to navigate. They’re more accessible for the elderly, usually having few steps and no stairs.
Round-the-clock security is often a key part of independent living communities. ILCs also often have community, fitness, and sports centers, as well as pools.
However, it’s typical for ILCs not to have 24-hour medical or healthcare support. Such services are available but usually as a paid addition to the community fees.
Assisted Living Communities (ALCs)
A quarter of US adults have some form of disability. In adults aged 65 or older, or two in every five have a disability. The most common are issues with mobility, cognition, and carrying out errands on their own.
ALCs provide a safe environment for adults with such health woes. They offer a warm home and living arrangement to seniors who need help with daily living tasks. ALCs offer residents the choice to have their own private room and bathroom.
For example, assisted living communities provide nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day. Moreover, according to Mapleheightsliving.com, residents can now even enjoy world-class gourmet food.
The community’s staff also helps with housekeeping, hygiene, sanitation, and medication reminders. Some modern facilities even come equipped with sports or exercise rooms. Most importantly, 24/7 security personnel and staff are available.
Memory Care Facilities
Memory care is a senior living arrangement specifically for people with memory conditions. These include Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia. AD alone affects an estimated 10% of older adults (65 years and over) in the US.
Healthcare professionals who specialize in dementia run memory care facilities. Many of their members are also medical experts, but they do have non-medical staff, too. Together, they make it easier for their residents to live and cope with their condition.
Many ACLs offer special memory care units for their residents with dementia. However, you’ll also find stand-alone centers catering only to patients with memory issues.
Prioritize Your Needs When Choosing Among Housing Options for Seniors
There you have it, your guide to the housing options for seniors in the US. If you’re active and healthy but want to live among people of your age, go with an ILC. If you need some help with daily tasks but would like to retain some independence, an ALC can be a good choice.
The most important thing is to factor in your health needs and desires. This way, you can choose the right housing arrangement you can grow older in.
Ready for more family, health, and lifestyle guides? Be sure to check out our other educational posts then!