Getting old is not easy, and many people don’t realize that until they are in their senior years. It’s a difficult time when you’re no longer able to do the things you are used to doing, but there are plenty of options available if you know where to look.
There are numerous senior care and living facilities around the US that can help with everything from day-to-day tasks like cooking dinner and cleaning up after yourself; to more complex needs such as bathing, dressing, toileting, or even personal hygiene.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what it means to be elderly in America, how these institutions work, and outline tips for seniors who need assistance in their daily lives.
What Does It Mean To Be Elderly In America?
- In America, the definition of “elderly” is becoming blurred. It used to be that someone was considered elderly at age 65 or older; now, it’s not uncommon for people in their 50s and even 40s to require this type of assistance.
- There are many different types of senior care facilities: retirement homes, assisted living communities (also called ALFs), nursing homes, hospice centers, continuing care retirement community (CCRC) residences—and they come with a range of costs as well depending on what amenities you want.
How Do These Institutions Work?
- The most common way these institutions work is by providing 24-hour staffing with nurses who can administer medicine or help change your clothes if necessary. They also provide meals and housekeeping services.
- They are also there to help the person with daily tasks such as dressing, eating, or getting around. But they may not be able to make you walk again if your health has deteriorated significantly and left you bedridden.
- In an ALF or CCRC residence, seniors have their own apartment that is fully furnished when they move in and includes a stove to cook for themselves (though this depends on individual facility policies). In addition, there’s always someone available at these locations who will assist them—either by helping with meal prep or just talking it over together.
- The biggest difference between those two types of facilities is cost: assisted living communities are cheaper than retirement homes because residents don’t get meals included in the rent, and they usually have fewer amenities.
- Retirement communities are more expensive because of those additional costs that come with a retirement home—plus, residents often get meal service included in their monthly rental fee. But if you’re looking for added benefits like housekeeping or transportation to appointments, these facilities may be worth it.
- And if you’re on a tight budget, assisted living communities are usually cheaper because they don’t offer meal service.
After reading through the list of facilities in your area and finding which ones might be best for their needs, it’s time to visit those locations! Of course, you should always do this before signing any contracts or making any commitments to make sure that meeting with them will clarify all of your questions about how life would look there.
The first step is just walking into the building—you’ll get a great sense from being inside what kind of community you can expect (or whether it feels like home). Plus, seeing these places in person will help present seniors with an idea about where exactly they will live each day.
You’ll want to pay attention to several things, including:
- The layout and design
- What the community is like on any given day (what people are doing here)
- How it feels when you walk through the halls or enter one room from another
- Are there enough activities offered? Do they seem enjoyable? Does this feel like home?
- Is everyone smiling and happy—or does it have a different vibe altogether? Who works at these places, what do they do all day long…?
These are big questions that will help someone figure out where their loved ones would be most comfortable. What’s important is making sure your parent living in senior care facilities enjoys themselves as much as possible! You can get an idea when you read more about these institutions.
So, if you’re thinking about your family members’ future, or maybe just wondering what options are out there to help them with their current care needs, it’s worth taking a look at these facilities. You’ll find everything from the most basic of assisted living communities to luxurious retirement homes in this guide—which will have all been vetted for quality and safety by Senior Care Plus.