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The Different Kinds of Long-Term Care Facilities & What You Need to Know

Today, there are more options than ever to find the right care for people of all ages who can no longer take care of themselves or perform even the most basic of daily activities. Long-term care can seem like a daunting thing for those who require it, or their loved ones trying to find the right accommodations, but we’re here to help clarify the different kinds of long-term facilities available. Knowing about these different types of facilities can help you find the right one for your needs, or those of your loved one.

What is long-term care?

Long-term care is designed for individuals of any age, not just seniors. Anyone who is injured, sick, or who has diminished physical/mental capabilities can benefit from long-term care facilities. Terminal conditions, disabilities, or infirmity of old age are other reasons long-term care may be required. Depending on the underlying reasons for needing care, your stay in a long-term care facility could be temporary or permanent.

To make finding the right care easier, there is a variety of facilities available that can handle patients seeking long-term care.

Independent living communities

One of the most common independent living communities is the continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Essentially, these communities provide care in three different stages: skilled nursing, assisted living, and independent living. Continuing care communities provide care in this way as a means to offer a full range of care and other services to residents as their needs change over time.

These communities also typically offer fully equipped homes or private apartments to residents, depending on the community. CCRCs are ideal for seniors who can maintain their independence with few medical issues impeding them. Social outings and other recreational entertainment are very common in CCRCs, which help build the sense of community they’re often known for.

CCRCs are also known as congregate care, retirement villages, 55+ communities, and senior apartments.

Assisted living communities

In assisted living facilities, residents are provided with 24-hour supervision, including meals, assistance with daily activities, and healthcare services—in a home-like setting. Common services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Using the bathroom
  • Taking medication
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping

Assisted living facilities offer all of these services, and more, in a comfortable setting where social and recreational activities are also provided.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes are ideal for those individuals who require constant nursing care, and who have difficulties performing daily activities. For those who can no longer maintain their independence or be cared for in their home, nursing homes are a viable option for long-term care facilities. These facilities provide skilled nursing care for residents, including rehabilitation services, activities, meals, supervision, and more. Nursing homes may also offer both temporary and periodic care, which is sometimes referred to as respite care or short-term rehabilitative stays.

Residents staying in nursing homes generally have complex medical needs and require a higher level of care than individuals living in retirement communities or assisted living. Typically, residents of nursing homes will share a room and enjoy their meals in a central dining area. Recreational activities are also common.

Alzheimer’s care

For those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, there are plenty of housing options available. 24-hour support is a given for this kind of care facility, as are structured activities to ensure a person’s safety and quality of life.

Alzheimer’s care is usually provided in an assisted living setting, but may also be offered in nursing homes and occasionally, personal care homes. Residents in long-term Alzheimer’s care facilities live in semi-private apartments and are provided with structured activities by trained staff.

Residential care homes

These private homes generally serve a group of residents living together, who are receiving care from live-in caretakers. Residential care homes usually offer assisted care services who are looking for something that is more private, and a home-like community. While assistance with daily living activities are typically included, other nursing services and amenities will vary between homes.

If you still need help understanding the difference between the various long-term care facilities out there, or want guidance on the right choice for your needs, contact Explore Retirement Living today.