10 Alternatives to Assisted Living

Written By: Eric Williams
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated March 19, 2022

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senior couple

As we age, many begin to think about the best way to live out our golden years. For some, this means moving away from one. But for others, there are alternatives to assisted living.

An assisted living facility offers various services and amenities that make it easy for seniors to live on their own in the comfort they deserve.

Many ALFs have 24-hour supervision, meal preparation areas, transportation options throughout town or within walking distance from the home base location, which is often also reserved as part-time parking space!

In this article, we have highlighted some assisted living facilities that may be a better fit for you or your loved one.

Read on if you consider assisted living facilities or are just curious about the different options available.

Home Care

senior citizen considering alternatives to an assisted living facility

Home care is a type of assisted living that allows seniors to live in their own homes while still receiving some level of care. For example, a professional home health care agency can provide home care, or a family member or friend can provide it.

Home care can be a good option for seniors who are still relatively healthy and prefer independent living but need some assistance with activities of daily living. For example, organizations like Meals on wheels America provide homebound seniors with hot, nutritious meals, which can help keep them healthy and independent.

Holistic Care Programs

Programs like PACE provide comprehensive, holistic care for seniors. This program offers daycare, health services, and social activities all in one place.

This option can be a good option for seniors who can no longer live independently but don’t need the full-time care that a nursing home provides.

PACE stands for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is a joint federal and state program for seniors aged 55+. PACE programs are available in many states, and you can find a list of participating states on the website of the Medicaid

Individuals who fulfill specific criteria may join PACE:

  • Age 55+
  • Live in the PACE service area
  • Eligible for nursing home care

Subsidized Housing Care

The US government also offers subsidies for seniors who live in private, subsidized housing. This program is known as HUD or the Housing and Urban Development Department.

HUD’s initiatives are focused on increasing safe and affordable housing choices. In addition, the Department provides services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming so.

These programs promote housing stability: providing permanent supportive housing to senior citizens and vulnerable sections of the society.

Senior Apartments

Another option is senior apartments; these are just like regular apartments but built to make it easy for seniors. This option can be a good option for seniors who are still relatively healthy and independent but want to live in a community of other seniors.

A senior living apartment offers two essential amenities: accessibility and a sense of belonging. 

Many assisted living communities to have a minimum age requirement of 55 or 62, which is generally older than the national median age.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

happy senior couple

Seniors looking for an apartment to age in place or a retirement community that offers around-the-clock care can find it with Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs).

These assisted living facilities offer homes and amenities explicitly designed per a person’s needs as they grow older.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs have different levels of care, so people can move in when they are able and still maintain some level of independence. But if their health declines, they can move to a higher level of care within the Continuing Care Retirement Communities without having to leave their home and friends.

People looking for assisted living should keep in mind that Continuing Care Retirement Communities have different types of contracts; it is advisable to check the contract as per the requirement.

This type of living is excellent for those who want to be socially active and have all of their needs taken care of without worrying about the day-to-day.

Memory Care

For seniors experiencing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, there is Memory Care. Memory care communities offer a safe and secure environment for seniors who need assistance with activities of daily living.

The staff at memory care communities gets special training to deal with the challenges of caring for seniors with dementia.

They understand the importance of providing a supportive and interactive environment for their residents.

Memory care communities have separate wings or buildings on the property of a larger assisted living community, which allows residents and their families to feel comfortable and safe while knowing that help is always close by if needed.

In addition to the care and support that a memory care community offers, it is also an excellent place for seniors to make friends and socialize, which can be crucial for those living with dementia, as it can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Skilled nursing care homes

As a person’s age increases, their health care needs also tend to become more complex. A skilled nursing home may be the best option for assisted living when this happens.

Skilled nursing care homes have adequate equipment to handle the medical assistance of their residents. Generally, doctors order skilled nursing care homes for their patients after a hospital stay, as this is where they can continue to receive care from professional health care providers.

These nursing home provides 24-hour care and typically has a hospital-like setting with all the amenities and medical assistance for citizens. It can be reassuring for seniors and their families, as they know that their loved one is in good hands and will be taken care of around the clock.

Read more: 20 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund to Build Wealth

Adult foster care

It is also known as Adult Family Home (AFH) care; in this type of arrangement, an old lives with family members who are not their biological relatives but have agreed to take care of them.

Adult foster care can be an excellent option for seniors who want more one-on-one attention than they would receive in a larger assisted living retirement community.

Generally, the family who takes in an adult foster care resident has a room available in their home and provides meals and medical care.

Adult foster care is one of the kinds of assisted living facilities that typically include assisting the senior citizen in daily life chores such as bathing, medicine, and household activities.

This type of arrangement is great for seniors looking for companionship and want to feel like they are a part of a family. It is less expensive as compared to other assisted living options.

Respite care

Respite care is a short-term, temporary medical care option for seniors who do not need full-time assisted living facilities but need a break from their current living situation. Also, respite care can be an excellent option for those who have a caregiver at home but need a break now and then.

Respite care can be provided in the senior’s home, regardless of the location respite care offers the same services that are available in an assisted living community, such as meals, social activities, and basic care.

Respite care also offers short-term stay in an assisted living community or a skilled nursing home. Also, respite care is an excellent option for seniors transitioning from one type of care to another.

Adult daycare

This assisted living facility provides seniors with a safe and stimulating environment during the day while their caregiver is away at work. Adult daycare centers offer a wide variety of activities, from arts and crafts to exercise classes.

Seniors living with people who have to attend the office or go out for work during the day can opt for this facility. This facility typically includes meals, medical care, and transport facilities for the seniors.

It is important to note that adult daycare is not a replacement for 24-hour care, but it can be an excellent way for seniors to socialize and stay active during the day.

Final Words

Many different assisted living alternatives are available for seniors, depending on their specific needs. Therefore, it is essential to discuss all options with the seniors and their families to find the best fit.

No one option is perfect for everyone, so it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each before making a decision. However, one must also consider the cost of each option, as this can be a significant factor in deciding which one is best for the senior.

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