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How to Choose the Right Type of Senior Living

What, exactly, is senior living? It’s a broad term that refers to a wide variety of housing and services, including independent living, assisted living and, yes, nursing homes. Unfortunately, many of the stigmas and stereotypes that surround senior living are related to nursing homes, but nursing home care is an entirely separate level of care from independent living and assisted living. That’s why it’s important to identify the differences between independent living, assisted living and nursing home care.

There are senior living communities that offer either independent living or assisted living and then there are senior living communities that offer both, depending on the lifestyle and needs of each resident. So, before you start touring communities, you should identify which type of senior living is right for you.

Independent Living

Independent living is designed to be a more convenient and vibrant alternative to home ownership. It’s called “independent living” because the #1 priority is maintaining independence and remaining active. Residents rent an apartment with varying amenities and also have access to all of the physical fitness activities, social events and entertainment that are offered by the senior living community.

Independent living eliminates the burden of household maintenance and the hassle of preparing meals, so that you’re able to spend time doing the things that you want to do.

Assisted Living

Many residents remain at the same senior living community and simply transition to assisted living from independent living when the time is right. Assisted living encourages continued independence for seniors by offering additional help with daily living activities and providing 24-hour access to on-site staff. Residents still get to experience all of the wonderful activities and events that are offered by the senior living community.

For couples who need different levels of care, it’s still possible for the couple to rent a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment together and receive the individualized care that’s right for each spouse.

Nursing Home Care

Senior living is often assumed to look and feel like nursing home care, but nursing home care is actually the highest level of care for seniors. Long-term residents generally have complex medical conditions that require around-the-clock care from nurses. At nursing homes, residents often share a room with another resident, which is also different from the individual apartments at independent living and assisted living communities.

Are you or a loved one exploring senior and assisted living communities? Melrose Meadows is a certified assisted and independent living community in Iowa City, Iowa. We provide an independent, secure lifestyle for our residents in a vibrant, all-inclusive setting. Schedule a tour today to see if Melrose Meadows is a good fit for your future.

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