Senior Housing Options
There is a broad array of housing options available to seniors, from specialized facilities that provide round-the-clock care to independent living communities where people still drive on a daily basis. The names of the different types of housing options can sometimes be confusing, as the terminology can vary from region to region. The main difference will be in the amount of care provided for activities of daily living and for medical care. When researching a housing option, make sure it covers your required level of care.
Independent living refers to residence in a compact, easy-to-maintain, private apartment or house within a community of seniors. As the name implies, Independent Living is just that: the ability to maintain one’s residence and lifestyle without custodial or medical assistance. If custodial or medical care becomes necessary, residents are permitted to bring in outside services of their choice.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted Living is probably the most popular choice among seniors and their families. Assisted Living means just what it says, assistance with daily living. These include bathing, dressing, medication supervision, incontinence care, transferring assistance, meal preparation, housekeeping, etc.
Assisted Living communities come in either apartment style living, or smaller board and care type of homes.
The larger apartment style communities have a "hotel" feel. They customarily have a community dining room with wait staff to take orders. They may also have a beauty salon, vans or buses for transportation, and other community areas such as a library, TV room, gym, medical clinic, etc. Apartments vary in size from studios one or two bedroom designs.
Board and Care sizes are private homes modified to meet state inspection requirements. These smaller homes are particularly good for seniors who prefer a “home-like environment” over the hotel-like settings. Further the homes may be better for seniors that have special physical needs. (Macular degeneration, dementia, etc..) Residents receive more one on one attention because they are typically limited to six seniors in the home. These offer a family environment and have a sense of "home" verses "hotel". Regardless of which option you choose, all Assisted Living Facilities are regulated by the state of Florida.
Memory /Alzheimer’s Care
Memory Care facilities or homes are especially designed, maintained, and staffed for people who have Alzheimer's or other forms of Dementia. These facilities have a unique design including alarms on all doors to prevent wandering. Staff members are required to take special courses and/or seminars on how to care for seniors with behaviors such as aggression, depression and confusion.
As Alzheimer’s disease or dementia progresses, the level of care and assistance a person requires increases. Many families prefer to keep their loved one home for as long as possible, but some point a person with Alzheimer’s disease will need more care than you can provide at home. As with other types of senior housing, many families find that their loved ones with dementia do better in smaller homes versus the larger institutional facilities.