There are many different levels of care when it comes to senior living and they can be hard to navigate for seniors and their caregivers. It is important to educate yourself on what each level of care offers so you know what senior living community will meet your needs.
Step 1: 55+ community- This community provides access to many amenities but someone may be completely independent. This community may be similar to living in an apartment complex with a clubhouse around others over 55. Someone who may choose to live in this community does not want to deal with the hassle of maintenance, snow removal, raking leaves, etc.
Step 2: Independent living- In this community more services will be provided to the senior such as housekeeping, meal plan option, and maintenance upkeep. Nursing services are not included so tenants are required to hire services or move to assisted living when needed.
Step 3: Assisted Living- more nursing oversight is provided for the senior along with having a 24-nurse available. In assisted living, someone would receive three meals a day, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance upkeep, transportation, recreation programs, and an emergency response pendant. Assisted living apartments offer kitchens often without a stove. However meals are provided for your convenience. Tenants can still come and go as they please.
Step 4: Memory Care- Some memory care communities are attached to a general assisted living or long-term care community. Other communities are a stand alone memory care, like MeadowView. These communities are designed to provide a safe environment for those living with dementia. Most offer the same amenities as an assisted living community. Some memory care communities offer all-inclusive services. Memory care communities vary in size. You will find communities offering 12-14 apartments to larger communities like Meadowview offering a unique lifestyle with freedom of movement in a secure space.
Step 5: Skilled Nursing- Skilled nursing communities can offer short-term or long-term stay. Short-term stay tenants generally are there because they need rehab either due to a surgery or illness. The tenants build up there strength so they are able to return home safely. Long-term stay tenants who reside in a skilled nursing community need a higher level of nursing care such as a two person assist or require a lift for standing & transferring, and full nursing cares. If someone stays at a skilled community short-term, Medicare will cover a large portion of the cost. If they are needing long-term care, tenants pay privately. Some communities also accept Medicaid.
It is always important to remember to stay proactive. Some people wait until a major incident happens at home like a fall. By then you may be limited in your options. A person may or may not be appropriate for independent or assisted living level of care after that incident happens. If you need guidance and understanding resources and options in the Cedar Rapids area, contact me.
Danielle Helgerson, Community Relations Director
The Views Senior Living of Cedar Rapids