Senior Living Options: Planning for the Future

Most older adults recognize the importance of having a plan in place for the future. We want to make sure our future health needs will be met, while still enjoying an active and engaging lifestyle. However, that’s easier said than done. With so many different senior living options available, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

A good way to start is by learning what the different types of senior living communities are and familiarizing yourself with common senior living terms. After all, it’s difficult to compare apples and oranges, but it would be near impossible if you didn’t know the differences between the two to begin with.

Once you have a solid grasp on the basics, it’ll be easier for you to determine which community type is best for you. From there, it’s only a matter of finding a community where you feel like you belong.

Senior Living Community Types

As you and your family begin to consider options for lifestyle transitions, determining the differences in each may be somewhat confusing. You may not have even realized that there were several options out there for you to explore. Following is a listing of the various types of senior living communities and services, and a brief description of each to help you as you plan for the future.

Get a free, printable version of our guide to senior living community types.

Most older adults recognize the importance of having a plan in place for the future. We want to make sure our future health needs will be met, while still enjoying an active and engaging lifestyle. However, that’s easier said than done. With so many different senior living options available, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

A good way to start is by learning what the different types of senior living communities are and familiarizing yourself with common senior living terms. After all, it’s difficult to compare apples and oranges, but it would be near impossible if you didn’t know the differences between the two to begin with.

Once you have a solid grasp on the basics, it’ll be easier for you to determine which community type is best for you. From there, it’s only a matter of finding a community where you feel like you belong.

Senior Living Community Types

As you and your family begin to consider options for lifestyle transitions, determining the differences in each may be somewhat confusing. You may not have even realized that there were several options out there for you to explore. Following is a listing of the various types of senior living communities and services, and a brief description of each to help you as you plan for the future.

Get a free, printable version of our guide to senior living community types.

55+ Retirement Communities

Real estate or 55 plus retirement communities provide seniors with the opportunity to live in a community of apartments or homes without some of the burdens of homeownership. In most cases, these homes are (or should be) on one level, which allows seniors to remain in place for a longer period of time since the space is already designed to best accommodate older adults. The community as a whole is designed for people over the age of 55—think of it as a gated community specifically for older adults.

Because this is a real estate arrangement, seniors are still in a “homeowner” type of setting in a 55+ community. Typically, they would still be responsible for certain aspects of maintenance and upkeep.

These communities do not offer assisted living or nursing services when health circumstances change and in most cases, very few life enrichment and wellness opportunities are provided.

Additionally, should the resident pass away while living in the community, the family would be responsible for the remarketing of the property while paying the costs to operate and maintain it until sold.

Rental Retirement Communities

Rental retirement communities provide senior apartments and condos. In this living structure, residents pay a monthly service fee which covers services and amenities such as utilities, maintenance/upkeep, some type of dining program and social calendar.

This is a wonderful option for people who have begun to struggle with the responsibility of maintaining a large home and are facing the possibility of isolation because driving has become more difficult.

However, a senior apartment rental community is not licensed to provide assisted living or nursing services should health circumstances change.

Assisted Living/Memory Care Communities

Assisted living communities provide supportive care and services to residents when managing daily living needs has become a challenge for seniors living alone.

Family members may become concerned that their loved one is not safe to be alone when they notice that they require assistance with one or more supportive services, such as bathing, dressing, toileting and medication management. Assisted living communities are there to help residents with those types of activities.

Although residents in an assisted living environment are still independent to a large degree, having round-the-clock support available is vital to ensure residents remain safe and at the highest possible level of independence for as long as possible.

Long Term Care Communities

Also known as skilled nursing, these communities provide long term nursing care when seniors require 24/7 nursing and supportive services for all of their daily living needs.

For these seniors, mobility has declined to the degree that assisted living is no longer a safe or viable option, and residents are in need of support at a much higher level.

In most cases, these communities will also provide short term rehabilitative care after a hospital stay.

Costs for long term care are not covered by Medicare or any type of supplemental health insurance, but could be of benefit for a short term rehabilitative stay or any ancillary charges associated with long term care.

Only long term care insurance could defray a portion of the costs for long term nursing care.

Life Plan Communities and Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Life Plan Communities are a sort of hybrid of all senior living community types. Life Plan Communities, also referred to as Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs, offer independent living for seniors. And in addition to facilitating an active, independent lifestyle, Life Plan Communities also offer assisted living or nursing services within the community should circumstances change.

There are two main costs associated with a Life Plan Community:

1) Residency Deposit or Entrance Fee         2) Monthly Service Fee

In most cases, a large portion of the Residency Deposit remains a part of the resident’s estate. Additionally, the family would NOT be responsible for the remarketing of the property and paying the costs to operate and maintain until sold. That is all taken care of by the Life Plan Community.

The Monthly Service Fee is designed to consolidate costs to operate a resident’s home and remove the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep, all while offering an array of life enrichment and wellness opportunities.

The benefit of a Life Plan Community is that it offers the independence and convenience of an independent senior living community—with fun, engaging events, comprehensive amenities and financial stability—but also offers the security of guaranteed access to assisted living and skilled nursing. Residents’ future health needs will always be met.

Myths vs. Realities: Is a CCRC Right For You?

If you’ve searched online or in person for retirement communities, you’ve noticed there are several options. One of those options is continuing care retirement communities, or CCRC (also referred to as life plan communities). These communities…

planning

A New Way to Age in Place: Understanding Life Plan At Home Programs

Life Plan At Home programs offer the same kinds of services provided to senior living community residents along with the financial protection that is a part of a long-term care insurance policy, but to older adults that live in their homes.

Long-term care planning Blakeford

Preparing for Long-Term Care: Four Options to Ponder

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst—that adage certainly rings true when planning for potential long-term care needs. After all, those turning 65 today have almost a 70 percent chance of needing some type of professional help…

Your Senior Living Options at Blakeford

Blakeford, the Nashville area’s premier provider of senior lifestyle solutions, offers several different programs to help you stay happy, healthy and safe. Find where you belong by exploring the lifestyle options below.

Independent Living: Blakeford at Green Hills

summer seniors

What is independent living?

Independent living is the entry point, so to speak, of the Life Plan Community structure—it’s the beginning of the continuum of care. While living in an apartment home at Blakeford at Green Hills, you’ll have access to housekeeping, maintenance, wellness programs, medical services, cultural events and social activities, transportation and dining options—among other convenient amenities.

Why independent living?

The point of independent living is to facilitate your active lifestyle but with the added convenience of a Life Plan Community. You’ll also have easy access to health care to meet whatever health needs may arise in the future. It’s a great option for older adults who no longer want to deal with the hassle of homeownership but are still leading active lifestyles. This is because you have the privacy and freedom of your own home without the headaches of maintenance and upkeep.

Assisted Living: Burton Court at Blakeford

senior couple at dinner

What is assisted living?

Assisted living is for people who need a little help from day to day. In an assisted living community like Burton Court at Blakeford, residents receive help with things like medication supervision, meals and physical wellness. It’s designed to help people who need specific care and support, but still want to maintain their independence.

Why assisted living?

Most people will need some sort of assistive care as they age. With that in mind, it’s best to plan for that before the need arises so you’re prepared if ever the time comes. If you form a care plan while you’re healthy, it can alleviate your fears about the future and take the burden off your children’s or family’s shoulders.

couple holding hands, purpose, spirituality

Skilled Nursing: Woodcrest at Blakeford

woman in scrubs sitting against wall

What is skilled nursing?

In skilled nursing, trained individuals (like registered nurses and therapists) provide frequent or even 24/7 care as needed for chronic medical conditions.

Why skilled nursing?

Skilled nursing may sound similar to assisted living, but the two are actually quite different. Skilled nursing is for people who need care at a higher level than those in assisted living, who may only need help with a few activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing or eating. Skilled nursing ensures that your medical needs or your loved one’s needs are being met by tailoring the care plan to meet individual needs.

staff member with resident

Rehabilitation for Seniors: The Rehab-to-Home Center at Blakeford

nurse helping senior woman with walker

What is rehabilitation?

A rehabilitation center is somewhere you can go when you need to heal after a hospitalization or surgery. At the Rehab-to-Home Center at Blakeford, you receive personalized care to help get you back on your feet. Services include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Why rehabilitation?

Rehab isn’t a permanent situation—this is for people who have had a health setback and need to recover their strength or mobility. At our rehab center, we provide 24-hour personalized RN care to help you reach maximum recovery.

At-Home Care: Blakeford At Home

caregiver

What is At-Home Care?

At-home care is for older adults who need a little assistance but wish to remain in their own home. Through Blakeford At Home, seniors can receive things like meal deliveries, coordination of medical providers, medication reminders and expert caregiving services.

Why At-Home Care?

If you need or your loved one needs help with daily living, Blakeford At Home can provide assistance within your own home. This is a way for seniors to keep living their lives in the way they have been but with the support they need to remain healthy and safe.

women money wellness

LiveWell By Blakeford: Life Plan at Home

What is LiveWell?

LiveWell is a way for seniors to stay at home with confidence. LiveWell provides wellness and preventative services to help you remain at home for as long as possible—it’s like an independent living community within your own house. And if your healthcare needs change, you have access to a Personal Care Coordinator to help arrange for the necessary resources and services.

Why LiveWell?

If you’re a healthy, active senior who wants to remain in your own home but are wondering what your care options are for the future, you might want to consider LiveWell. LiveWell is designed to provide the convenience and security of a Life Plan Community within the comfort of your own home. And not only does LiveWell provide a solution for future health needs, but it also provides a solution for lifestyle needs. In addition to long-term care services, you also have access to the social and recreational events at Blakeford.

We’re Here to Help You Plan for the Future

We all know planning for the future is important but there’s no denying that it can get confusing. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to determine which is the best fit for you.

Blakeford is here to help you find the best senior lifestyle solution for your needs. We are always happy to meet with you one-on-one to go over your questions and concerns. It’s time to find where you belong!