SENIOR CITIZEN HOMES: THE MODERN DAY OPTIONS FOR SENIOR LIVING

Senior citizen housing just isn’t what it used to be, and that is good news! Previous generations of seniors didn’t have many options. Most of them lived in the family home past the point when it became unsafe for long-term care.

If an elderly person couldn’t live in the home of a loved one or their own home, a nursing home was really the only option other than a few assisted living facilities and long-term care spread throughout the country.

All of the modern day options like independent living communities, age-restricted apartments, competent in-home care and easily available assisted living facilities simply did not exist 50 years ago. So it’s good that the times have changed.

When it comes to senior citizen homes, the options today for independent living and top quality health care are fairly abundant. The trick is choosing which one is best for you!

The Things Modern Day Seniors Want

If you asked an active senior citizen today about their outlook on life, there’s a good chance that they would tell say something along the lines of “You’re as young as you feel!” These days, senior citizen homes, health care, and communities are packed with active individuals like this. This generation simply wants more out of their senior living facility.

Add to that with the fact that Baby Boomers are now reaching retirement age at an extremely high rate, and it should be no surprise that senior citizen homes are changing so fast. For today’s seniors, retirement means independence and freedom. Their living facilities are now providing those exact benefits.

Here are some more of the specific things modern day seniors want:

Continued Education

To meet this need, some senior citizen homes located near educational institutions are actually starting partnerships that provide big learning benefits for their residents. Whether they offer the opportunity to attend lectures at these institutions or invite experts and professionals to come to give speeches on the property, this is a really great new trend that seniors are loving!

At the very least, a senior living facility can provide access to learning programs through Wi-Fi capabilities and computer centers.

Social Interaction

When the seniors of today were starting families, neighborhoods were thriving communities where people knew each other. This may be why modern day seniors are so adamant about social interaction and connections.

They love senior citizen homes that keep them in close contact with other people their age. They also attend events and activities that promote social interaction in high numbers.

Modern technology also allows today’s seniors to stay in touch with loved ones much more easily. From text messaging to social sharing platforms and video chat sessions, many feel like they can “visit” their family members anytime they want.

True Independence

Almost all of the modern day options for senior living revolve around the idea of choice. This means that seniors want to choose between different levels of care, dining options, residential finishes and much more.

Active seniors demand full control over their own lives, so senior citizen homes are constantly looking for ways to add more options.

 

Popular Amenities

So what are some of the amenities that modern day seniors love so much? Let’s take a look.

Activities

Staying active at every level is very important to today’s seniors. Senior citizen homes are doing everything they can to meet this need through special events, games, trips off property, hobby classes, presentations and more. In just a few decades, the community calendar has gone from empty to packed full!

Social Dining and Drinks

Whether it’s a social coffee hour every morning or a fun happy hour every afternoon, seniors are now enjoying an abundance of social dining options. They love getting an excuse to socialize with fellow community members and friends.

Gourmet Dining Options

For modern-day seniors, dining options should go way beyond typical buffets and frozen meals. Senior citizen homes are quickly realizing that their residents want higher quality dining options. Many of them are now offering complete dining experiences with gourmet chefs!

Trips and Outings

For seniors who either don’t like to drive or aren’t capable, transportation services to doctor’s appointments and places like the grocery store are a necessity. However, they really enjoy going on day trips for entertainment purposes. It is now typical for a senior community to offer outings to fun destinations like sports events, casinos, theaters, museums and excellent restaurants.

Cleaning, Laundry and Home Maintenance Services

Since today’s active seniors demand their independence, most senior citizen homes now offer house cleaning, laundry, and home maintenance as, at the very least, optional services. After all, who doesn’t want someone else to worry about this stuff?

Physical Fitness

Staying healthy and fit is a priority for modern day seniors. They look for communities that support the physical health of their residents through fitness classes and up-to-date fitness facilities.

If you walk into senior living communities today, you shouldn’t be surprised to see cutting-edge treadmills, well-kept walking paths, swimming pools, and aerobics classes.

Different Types of Senior Citizen Homes

Considering the sheer amount of options available, anyone can understand why today’s seniors can get overwhelmed and confused. This is why it is so important to learn about the differences and terminology in the senior living world. Hopefully, these quick descriptions will give you a good start!

Independent Living

For seniors who have very few medical concerns and do fine on their own, independent living communities can provide a good option over staying in their current home.

Residents of these communities live in private, fully-equipment spaces. Depending on the specific community, these can be apartments, condos, duplex-style residences or even detached homes.

These places are the leaders in providing all the amenities we talked about above. They are also commonly called retirement communities, 55+ communities, continuing care retirement communities, congregate care homes or senior apartments.

Although some may be government-aided, most residents pay privately. The monthly rates can vary between $1,500 and $3,500 on average.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are focused on residents who can’t quite live safely on their own. However, they do not provide the level of care that a nursing home can provide, so those with serious medical issues are not a good fit.

These communities do typically offer help with managing medications, housekeeping, meals, and other daily living activities. Most provide three daily meals in a centrally-located dining area, but residents usually live in private condos or apartments equipped with small kitchen areas.

For added safety, the staff should be available 24 hours a day, and licensed nursing services should be available on property. Some assisted living communities also offer specialized units for those suffering from cognitive impairments like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Scheduled transportation services and regular social activities are also widely available among assisted living facilities.

These communities are also referred to as assisted care communities or personal care homes. Although some of them may take Medicaid, most require private pay. Costs can range between $2,500 and $4,000 a month depending on the community’s location, the size of the residences, and level of assistance provided.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes have been around for a long time. They specialize in providing 24/7 skilled nursing care for seniors who have serious medical issues and need a lot of assistance. Many modern-day nursing homes also offer short-term stays for rehabilitation purposes after an illness, injury or surgery.

Residents at these senior citizen homes usually share a room. They are served meals either in a central dining room or their own rooms depending on their current health. Some activities may also be available.

Other Senior Living Options

There are also a few other options for senior care. However, the level of care and assistance provided by these different senior citizen homes can be very vague. Here’s a quick breakdown:

In-Home Care

  • Allows seniors to remain in the home while receiving necessary care
  • Assists with daily tasks like meal prep, bathing, and getting dressed
  • May assist with the management of finances, transportation and scheduling
  • Ranges from 24 hours/day to once a week

Respite Care

  • Gives caregivers a temporary break
  • Take care of the individual in a senior citizen home
  • Typical stays range between one week and one month
  • May also provide a “test transition period” for those who are considering a permanent move

Residential Care Facilities

  • Seniors live together with live-in caregivers
  • Provides a more home-like, private option than an assisted living community
  • Level of care and amenities will be very different for each residential care home

Although change is not necessarily the favorite word of many seniors, it is absolutely a good thing when it comes to senior citizen homes. As long as they are well-educated on the different options and prepare for their future needs, modern-day seniors can enjoy a full range of options throughout their golden years!

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