Different Types of Senior Living and Assisted Living Facilities

Aging, as we all know, is a fact of life that we cannot control nor change. It is important that we all plan ahead for our future, including what we do when we retire, and where we should spend the rest of our lives in our golden years. We think that it is essential to search, plan and decide on future housing needs so that we continue to thrive as we get older. However, searching for retirement communities or long term senior living facilities for us or for our loved ones is a daunting, and quite frankly, overwhelming task. As such, listed below is a basic rundown of each of the different types of senior living and assisted living facilities you can choose from.

Retirement Communities

Retirement housing is generally perfect for healthy seniors starting from 55 years old and up. A senior can live in his own home/room/apartment that is within a complex of other homes. The best thing about retirement communities is the socialization, which every person needs as they grow older. Retirement Communities can also include a number of other different types of retirement facilities and retirement communities, such as, continuing care communities.

Independent Living Facilities

This type of senior living facility is especially made for seniors to remain independent at the maximum level. It can be an apartment, a condo-living style, a free standing home, or an independent living community. All of these different types of independent living options are meant to be elderly friendly, more compact, hazard free, and easier to navigate. Residents live independently in a way that they don’t need any medical services or assistance with daily tasks like bathing, cleaning, and cooking. Independent living facilities usually offer amenities where seniors can gather and exercise, do arts and crafts, or even have movie nights! Some facilities also have swimming pools, golf courses, or fitness centers to keep seniors busy. Most facilities do not have nurses or medical staff, but you can always hire home health care providers separately.

Senior Apartments and Senior Co-housing

Senior Apartments typically offer amenities and properties shared by a community of seniors, such as dining halls, courtyards, and clubhouses; a perfect place for socialization! Senior co-housing on the other hand still promotes the independence of an older adult, but residents can enjoy a high quality of living for a lower price.

When an older adult is still active and can still live independently at a certain level, family members or loved ones should focus and emphasize more on the amenities, activities, and how elderly friendly that senior living facility or senior living option is.

Long Term Care Facilities

Seniors can live independently over a long period of time, however, there are times that chronic medical illnesses can get in the way of their ability to do things on their own. Long term care is a group of senior living facilities that provide continuing care and assistance with medical needs and daily activities in the long run. They give rehabilitative, restorative and/or ongoing skilled nursing care to patients. When considering long term continuing care facilities, it is important to take note and remember the quality of care a facility can provide and if they can meet the appropriate needs of your family member or loved one. Long term care can be provided at home or in a community.

Continuing Care Communities

This type of community provides services that offer the senior partially independent or only partially assisted. It is an entire continuing care community that can accommodate whatever needs a senior has. A senior can start as independent, only needing help with general housekeeping and meal preparation, and can move to different parts of the same community as their needs for assistance and help increases over time. Usually a continuing care community can consist of a mix of seniors with different levels of assistance and help. Because of this, it can also be perfect for spouses that want to stay close to each other even when one requires a higher level of care. This option can be costly of course due to the wide range of services that are needed, but this largely depends on the senior and the rest of their family’s needs and financial situation.

Assisted Living Facilities and Assisted Living Communities

Senior living facilities offer services that we call Assisted Living, in which, as the term implies, helps the elderly with some basic self care activities like eating, bathing, and using the bathroom. It provides assistance 24/7 as needed but there are essentially no medical services, unless the family specifies or requests so. The senior will not have a problem keeping the house or room clean as there are staff to do this for them. Laundry, meals, and medication assistance are also provided. This type of service is perfect for seniors who are still somewhat independent, but still need assistance with some tasks. Just like any retirement home, assisted living also provides recreational and social activities to keep your loved one busy and happy.

Nursing Homes

Nursing home facilities offer the most comprehensive and extensive care that is close to what a hospital can provide. Staff at these facilities are registered, professional and skilled nurses that are tasked to monitor your status and provide other medical needs. Nursing care is appropriate for patients that require a good deal of help with their daily living activities as well as health management. Sometimes, they can also provide other allied medical professionals such as Physical, Occupational, Speech and Respiratory Therapists. Skilled nursing care is provided 24/7, you can choose this service either as a short term or long term option.

Memory Care

Most seniors will experience challenges with their memory as they progress into their senior years, but patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, memory loss is more advanced and may affect how they perform their daily tasks. Memory care facilities assist patients with severe memory issues, Alzheimer’s, or dementia. They are similar to other retirement homes in that they provide meals, take care of laundry and housekeeping, and assist with medication. Perhaps the different aspect of this kind of facility from others are their recreational activities. Staff in memory care usually provide activities that stimulate and challenge the cognitive abilities of the senior. Memory care facilities are also known as a special care unit, and staff are trained to deal with and care for the specific needs and demands of patients with severe memory issues.


Family members and primary caregivers need a little break sometimes. This is the goal of respite care. It provides short term care for patients to give time for caregivers to run errands, attend important events or to take care of themselves. These breaks can last for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks, it’ll depend on how you set it up with the other caregiver. While you are away, the respite care provider is trained to do what you usually do – bathe, dress, feed, or give medications – with the help of a few notes or tips from you.

Respite care usually happens at home or at an assisted living facility. You can also bring your loved one into an adult day care center if your plans will only take a few hours or the whole day. This short term care will give you a little break that you surely need, while also giving you the peace of mind that your loved one is safe and in capable hands.

Hospice Care

Hospice is an option for patients and families that want relief from pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms associated with a terminal illness. Hospice is also called end-of-life care. Its main goal is to make the patient and their family be as comfortable as possible as their disease progresses. A patient may enter hospice when their doctor states that the patient has a terminal illness and that death is expected within 6 months. This can be in the hospital, or in a nursing home, but patients typically choose their home or a place that is close to family and friends..

There is a long list of options for housing and care for the elderly. Of course, you can personally do all of the research and make phone calls, but again, it can be overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting. Some factors you should consider when choosing a facility are:

  1. Location – find the nearest and most accessible to you
  2. Cost – find a facility that is most affordable while being able to meet your specific needs
  3. Services – the facility should be able to provide all appropriate care for your loved one.

Another option is getting the help of a senior placement agency, senior living referral service, or senior living adviser to assist in selecting the perfect facility for you or your loved one. You can provide them with the details of what you want and need, and they can find the perfect place for you. Senior living advisors will typically consult with you and take note of your personal preferences, general needs, medical conditions, desired location, and financial status. The senior living consultant will then review your information, analyze the data, research facilities, and set up a tour for a number of places that they think would be able to meet or exceed your personal needs while making sure it is the most affordable senior living option for you. In short, using an experienced and reputable senior living placement service or an assisted living advisor will simply make finding the perfect senior living facility fast, efficient, and stress free. Call our Assisted living advisers in NYC today to schedule a free consultation! 1-347-826-1689

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