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Everything you should know about assisted living in CCRCs

Continuing care retirement communities welcome adults who are interested in leading an independent lifestyle, with access to healthcare and senior-oriented services. As senior adults get older and begin to require assistance with daily living activities, they can transition toward assisted living. Senior residents remain within the same community, the only difference being in the level of care offered.

What is assisted living?

CCRC amenities and services

Benefits of moving to CCRC

What does assisted living in CCRC entail?

Once you transition to assisted living, you will benefit from 24/7 access to medical care and personal assistance. Naturally, residents are encouraged to be as independent as possible, but the staff of the respective CCRC is available at all times. They can help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, or toileting. As part of their job, they can also provide assistance with medication management. For instance, some residents might need insulin shots or other treatments administered on a daily basis. In some way, you can look at assisted living as a redefined form of independence. As a senior adult, you can still enjoy a fulfilling life, spending your time with like-minded people, engaged in all sorts of fun activities. You can make the most of this period in your life, thanks to everything that a CCRC has to offer. From fine dining to personal assistance and medication management, such communities have everything covered.

It is only normal to be scared about transitioning to a higher level of care. After all, we all want to remain independent for as long as it is possible. However, you should try to look at things from a different perspective. Assisted living does not mean you have lost your independence; on the contrary, all the assistance you receive will leave you with more free time to pursue your hobbies and passions. The day-to-day help will make life more pleasant, and you will feel more inclined to engage in social events and make new friends.

There are many senior adults who fear that assisted living in a CCRC resembles life in a nursing home. Even though there is nothing wrong with opting for a nursing home, we are talking about completely different things. Continuing care retirement communities offer senior adults the opportunity to stay independent, including when they are in higher levels of care, such as assisted living. They have access to a wide range of services and amenities, no longer having to worry about household chores and other similar matters.

Most importantly, residents can live in the same housing unit, whether they have opted for an apartment, townhouse or cottage. The CCRC staff is available, as mentioned, at all times. The fact that you can remain in the original housing unit is a big advantage to consider. Moreover, the change in care level does not mean you will be isolated from the rest of the community. CCRCs have been designed to ensure an active lifestyle for all of its residents, regardless of the care level.

When is the right time to change care levels? Well, you might notice that your healthcare demands have increased, as well as that you require more assistance with daily living activities. It is also worth mentioning that residents benefit from regular assessments, with experienced physicians performing assessments of both health and independence levels. Based on these assessments, you might be recommended to transition to assisted living.

The financial aspect of changing care levels must also be considered. As with other care levels, the cost of assisted living depends on the chosen CCRC, as well as on the type of housing unit and your actual needs. You should keep in mind that the cost of assisted living is not covered by long-term insurance policies, such as Medicare. On the other hand, if you would compare the cost of living at home with the one of assisted living in a CCRC, you might be surprised that the difference is actually not that huge.

Assisted Living Amenities and Services

For many senior adults, the transition to assisted living equals a more comfortable life, especially since they receive help with activities of daily living. All residents of a CCRC have access to a wide range of services and amenities, meant to help them spend their time in a pleasant manner and without feeling burdened by chores.

Services offered by assisted living in CCRC

Residents who opt for assisted living will benefit from services such as: housekeeping, laundry and linen service, general maintenance, Internet, cable, and telephone. They have access to meal programs and special diets, and are provided with an emergency call system for major events. Some CCRCs also offer transportation services and guest admissions.

As part of this care level, residents have access to a number of healthcare services, provided by trained personnel. These services can entail medication management, including for diabetes and other chronic conditions, but also general mobility and specific tasks. The advantage is that one remains, as mentioned, in the same housing unit, while benefitting from the healthcare he/she needs. On-site pharmacies are also available in some of these communities, allowing residents to get their prescriptions without too much effort. Personal assistance is one of the cornerstones of assisted living. When and if you ever need help with daily living activities, the trained personnel working on the campus will provide you with a personalized plan. The goal? Helping you live to the fullest, within a familiar setting, yet being able to maintain your privacy and highest possible level of independence.

Aging is not an easy process, and you might find yourself needing help with activities that once seemed easy to perform. Do not worry, as the CCRC staff is here to assist you. They can provide assistance with meal preparation and eating, using the toilet, bathing, getting dressed and grooming. They cover the basic needs of daily living and that is a huge advantage to consider.

Amenities offered by assisted living in CCRC

CCRCs offer a vibrant and active lifestyle, including for residents who opt for assisted living. The on-site amenities are meant to help senior adults maintain a good level of health, both mentally and physically.

Physical health is supported through the following amenities: swimming pool (indoor/outdoor, heated or not), fitness and wellness center, yoga, physical therapy, manual therapy, putting green, tennis court. Specific amenities for mental health might include: learning center, art studio, computer room, billiard room, continuous education courses, etc.

Socialization is one of the main objectives a CCRC has, and residents in assisted living are welcomed to take part in social events. These might include: game nights, movie showings, theater plays, various performances, etc. Residents are encouraged to interact with one another and form friendships, as socialization has a positive effect on their health. CCRCs recognize that senior adults come from the most diverse backgrounds, with varied personal interests. This is the reason why they make an effort to provide residents with a wide range of amenities, covering three areas: mental health, physical health, and socialization. New amenities are added at regular intervals to help residents learn and pursue new interests, thus avoiding feeling depressed, anxious, or bored.

It is worth mentioning that couples, including those that require assisted living, can live together, for as long as their health allows it. There are continuing care retirement communities which also allow pets, without any restrictions on weight or breed.

Benefits of moving into assisted living

If you are considering alternative retirement solutions, you might want to add CCRCs to your list of options. As previously mentioned, residents begin with independent living, transitioning to higher levels of care, such as assisted living, when and if their health changes. To help with your decision, here are some key benefits to remember. Worry-free existence. As a resident of a continuing care retirement community, you won’t have to worry about matters such as home maintenance and housekeeping, cooking your own meals, or medication management.

Socialization in CCRC

At senior age, it can be difficult to meet new people, and you might find yourself isolated from active communities. The risk of depression and anxiety is high among people of older age, as the socialization opportunities are genuinely reduced. By choosing assisted living in a CCRC, you will be part of a supportive community, surrounded by people of the same age. You will have plenty of opportunity to socialize, enjoying the company of other senior adults.

Staying physically active is very important for seniors. Many senior adults end up leading a sedentary lifestyle, as they do not have too many opportunities for physical activity. Unfortunately, this has a negative effect of their health, causing additional issues. CCRCs, on the other hand, offer numerous opportunities for physical movement, including to assisted living residents. There are both indoor and outdoor activities organized, with physical health as focus. Moreover, they are all offered on the same campus, so one does not have to travel far to access them.

Time well spent. Residents have access to a wide range of amenities, which help them stay active, both physically and mentally. Many of the activities included in the daily schedule help assisted living residents stay active, including gardening, yoga, and various social events. Some communities organize off-site trips as well.

Peace of mind for the family. It can be hard for your family members to witness your health declining and not being able to help. By choosing assisted living in a CCRC, your loved ones will no longer have to worry about your well-being. You will follow a health diet and be supervised in taking medication. The staff will go at all lengths to ensure that you are safe and secure, as well as satisfied with the quality of the service provided.

Assistance with daily living activities. Continuing care retirement communities allow senior adults to maintain their independence, while providing them with the assistance they require after a certain age. Trained staff offers help with daily living activities, such as dressing, eating, toileting, and bathing.

Treatments for chronic conditions. If a patient has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as diabetes, the on-site staff can handle the everyday treatment. For instance, many diabetes patients require insulin shots, which can be easily administered by the CCRC staff. They can also help residents with more complex needs, such as cleaning the feeding tube or mobility.

Adequate nutrition. All residents benefit from fine dining, often prepared by gourmet chefs. At senior age, nutrition is highly important, and CCRCs offer customized diet plans for their residents. The chefs working within the community are happy to prepare delicious meals, making sure that dietary needs are met. Some of these communities also offer several entrée choices and a wide range of snacks.

A better quality of life. Assisted living in a continued care retirement community can actually reduce the amount of stress you might experience at senior age. It guarantees an improved quality of life. Seniors can enjoy an independent lifestyle, with access to the necessary care and support, while families no longer bear the burden of having to care for their loved ones.

No anxiety about money. At senior age, it can be hard to keep track of your expenses. Even though CCRCs have substantial fees, they offer a financial stability that bears a lot of value. By moving into such a retirement community, you will no longer have to worry about such things and concentrate on living your life to the fullest. Moreover, you won't be at risk of falling prey to a financial scam, which might jeopardize your savings or retirement funds.

A word to the wise

Today's CCRCs offer exceptional living conditions and 24/7 access to healthcare. Residents who transition into assisted living benefit from health services and personal assistance, feeling safe and secure at all times. They have a wide range of services and amenities, and the community is equipped with everything necessary to handle even the most complex needs.

Assisted living residents can be part of a loving and supportive community, maintaining an independent lifestyle for as long as it is possible. Whenever they need help with daily living activities or require medication management, they can request assistance and the trained staff will be happy to help. All in all, assisted living in a CCRC seems to be one of the best options for retirees.

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