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Perhaps one of the most significant decisions individuals and families have to make looking into retirement and while retired is what of the senior living options available is the best fit for their unique situation. Over the years, retirement has changed. There are now more options than ever before to accommodate the needs and desires of those retired. One of the goals of SeniorSmart is to educate both individuals and families about their senior living options. Understanding the difference between assisted living and an independent living community is key to finding the right location to live the lifestyle desired in retirement.

Retirement Living, Where To Begin

Moving to a senior living community can be a challenge not just physically but emotionally. It’s normal for this transition to bring up emotions for seniors moving as well as in their families. This is why it’s so important decisions are made in an inclusive way. 

Also, there are many aspects to consider when dealing with retirement living. Where you live needs to meet your current and future health needs. Your senior living options must fit not just your lifestyle needs but your finances as well. Fortunately, SeniorSmart offers numerous resources that can give you the grounding you and your family needs. It is always a good idea to keep the following in mind:

  • Set a realistic financial budget.
  • Make a list of all of your physical, medical, and emotional needs.
  • Narrow down the area or areas you would like to live and create a list of possible senior living options there.
  • Always visit a location first to tour, speak with other residents, and get a sense of the community.
  • Read your housing contract carefully. Then have someone else read it such as an elder law expert.
  • Talk over all your senior living options with your family.

Types of Senior Care Options

Once you retire, you may need to settle on a new living arrangement. Many choose to remain in their home. Often, it never occurs to anyone that things may change or need to change to accommodate your desires in retirement or your health. Individuals who are still active and independent frequently find this to be an excellent option. They may not need in-home caregivers and can still actively manage all of their activities of daily living. However, as individuals age, needs can change. 

At SeniorSmart, we know how important it is that you understand various senior living options available to you. You may find any of the following options a good fit as your retirement progresses: 

  • Independent living community: These communities are for individuals who are active and independent but want to free themselves up to pursue their interests in retirement. Depending on the community, these communities mix part independent living with assisted care should it be needed. 
  • Assisted living: This community typically consists of small apartments in a care facility offering a wide range of services. Typical services include staff available 24 hours a day, meals, medication management, bathing, dressing, housekeeping, and transportation. Many have group dining and common areas where residents can socialize and enjoy activities. 
  • Specialty care assisted living (memory care): Specialty care assisted living programs are designed to meet the needs of individuals with cognition issues including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The staff is such programs is specially trained to serve patients in need of this level of care.
  • Skilled nursing facility (nursing home): This kind of facility is best for older adults who need 24-hour supervised care with meals, activities, and health management. A licensed physician supervises each resident’s care and a nurse or other medical professional is almost always on the premises. 

decision tree for senior living options

How SeniorSmart Can Help

We offer individuals and families looking to understand how best to enter retirement and thrive there the resources they need. Some of the services we offer include:

Also, we offer free access to information on elder law, senior health and wellness, and retirement finance. For those who decided to become a member of SeniorSmart, our concierge services give you personalized advice and guidance whether you’re about to enter retirement or already are and want more thorough information and support. So reach out to us today at 205.460.1124 to learn more.

For more information, please download this guide: