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If you are looking for an elder care facility for your loved one who is autonomous now, but shows signs that some assistance may be needed eventually, check out communities that offer independent, assisted living and nursing home care together on one campus. You may not find many places that offer this type of senior housing, but they are available if you really look. By living in a community that offers all three types of housing, seniors will have less trouble and stress moving to a different tier of care when it is needed.

CCRCs offers Independent, Assisted Living and Nursing Care in One Location

The most common type of elder care facility that houses all these types of care is called a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). Healthy seniors typically enter a CCRC independent living community, which is normally made up of apartments, town homes, or single-family apartments. They continue to live their regular lives until their daily routines become interrupted with difficulties completing basic tasks such as dressing, making meals or taking medication. At this time, the resident can move from independent to assisted living or skilled nursing care. All three levels give seniors the chance to live in one place or community during their elderly years. The type of care offered in a CCRC is broken down into three tiers:

  • Independent living: Commonly called active adults communities, these residences are for those senior citizens 55 years and older. They offer a range of leisure activities from bus trips, movie nights, exercise activities and programs, and holiday celebrations. Medical support is not provided nor is assistance with any daily living activities. Residents maintain their independence and come and go as they please.
  • Assisted living: After living independent, assisted living may seem like a drastic step. However, if the senior cannot manage normal every day activities, then for safety's sake, it is needed. Those in this tier of living receive support with grooming, dressing, medication management, preparing meals, laundry and housekeeping. Depending on the facility, residents can live alone or with a roommate. They receive around-the-clock supervision and personal care. However, just as in living independent, assisted living does not provide medical care beyond medication management. In-home healthcare can come in and provide this type of assistance, but caregivers cannot go beyond that type of assistance.
  • Skilled nursing: Medical care in hospital-like setting is provided to all residents who move to this tier of care. Seniors with severe physical and emotional/mental deficiencies are treated here. Skilled nursing also offers a range of rehabilitation services for those who were hospitalized, were in an accident or had surgery. Skilled nursing care is also for those who severe memory impairments.

What to Look for in a Independent, Assisted Living Facility

Every senior's needs vary, so the independent, assisted living and nursing home community you select should not only meet those needs but everything else that is. Here are a few things to consider when scoping out CCRCs:

  • `Remember that each retirement community is different. Some are smaller with only 50 or so residents, while others can house up to 100 or more residents. Make sure you research the size of CCRC ahead of time.
  • Make sure the contract explains everything you need if the time comes to move you loved one from living independent to assisted living or nursing care.
  • Make sure there are an ample number of planned programs to keep the residents active such as worship services, movie nights, and exercise lessons.
  • Check out amenities ahead of time, such as safety measures, security, handicap accessibility, and dietary concerns.

It's not always easy making the decision to move a loved one to an elder care facility. However, one that offers Independent Assisted Living and nursing home care should make the transition a bit easier.

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