August 3, 2018

According to the National Institute on Aging, America’s 65-and-over population is expected to grow dramatically over the next few decades, rising from 48 million to 88 million by the year 2050. With the aging population increasing faster than ever before, more and more senior living options are now available to meet the needs of older adults, from in-home care to independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care.

Many older adults want to stay in their homes as long as possible, but “aging in place” is not always the best option for an older adult’s health and overall well-being. In an effort to keep their parents at home, many adult children often find themselves becoming caregivers for their parents, which can become increasingly difficult as their care needs change. Eventually, older adults may require more extensive support that a family member cannot provide.

If your aging parent requires more care and support than you can provide at home, rest assured that there are many options available to fit your parent’s needs. Here are some of the different senior living options to research when home care is no longer enough for your loved one.

Assisted living

Assisted living is an ideal senior living solution for older adults who want to maintain a sense of independence but need extra support with personal care services and activities of daily living including grooming, dressing, bathing, mobility and medication management. Seniors in assisted living live in private residences and have access to conveniences such as daily meals, basic housekeeping, transportation, 24-hour security, social activities, and emergency medical services if needed. With a wide range of care services, assisted living provides older adults with just the right amount of safety and support they need to enjoy their retirement years.

Skilled nursing care

For seniors with chronic medical conditions that require long-term nursing care, skilled nursing is often the best care option. Seniors in skilled nursing care usually live in private accommodations and have access to all the benefits of community living including dining services, fun social activities, and wellness classes. In skilled nursing facilities, caregivers and registered nurses are available on-site and emergency assistance is available 24/7.

Memory care

Memory care is designed for older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. In memory care centers, residents receive specialized support with tasks of daily living in a secure, comfortable environment. Most memory care facilities also offer innovative programs to help stimulate memories such as music therapy, arts and crafts, and other group activities.

Continuing care retirement communities

A continuing care retirement community or CCRC is a senior living community that offers residents a continuum of care and features accommodations for independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care, often including memory care. In a CCRC, residents also have access to all the benefits of a retirement community, including dining options, social activities, and transportation. Choosing a CCRC is somewhat like investing in a long-term care insurance policy. By joining a CCRC, you can guarantee that your loved one will have a place at a campus where they will receive the right level of care as their needs change. Residents can spend the rest of their lives in a CCRC and move between levels of care as needed, which ultimately helps to reduce stress on seniors and their family members.

If home care is no longer enough for your parent or older loved one, it may be time to look for a senior living option that offers the right services and support for their changing needs. As you begin researching different senior living options, it’s important to consider the level of care your loved one will require as they grow older. Because none of us know what the future may hold, it’s wise to look for a facility that can accommodate your loved one’s care needs both now and in the future.