menu
The Benefits of Senior Living

The Complete Guide to Senior Living Options

Senior Living

Options

down-caret

Introduction

Senior living isn’t all one-size-fits-all — and it shouldn’t be. Instead, senior living communities should reflect the preferences, passions and needs of the people who live there. You can get a variety of senior living options all on one campus when you choose a Life Plan Community (also known as a continuing care retirement community or CCRC): independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory support.

These communities offer an all-inclusive, maintenance-free and low-stress lifestyle that ensures you have maximum independence and the professional assistance you might need down the road — all on one campus.

In The Complete Guide of Senior Living Options explore the four types you can find at Life Plan Communities in more detail.

Scroll to top
close chapters modal

contents

1
Independent Living
Residents living independently in their apartment or cottage home and do not have any significant care needs.
2
Assisted Living
Residents enjoy their independence as well as the peace of mind that comes with knowing a friendly caregiver is ready to help if needed.
3
Skilled Nursing
Residents have access to on-site therapy services and complex condition management while still feeling at home.
4
Memory Support
Residents live in communities that are specially designed to support adults living with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia.
5
Reasons to Make the Move to a Life Plan Community
A Life Plan Community home comes with the all-inclusive, maintenance-free lifestyle you want while providing peace of mind.
6
Choosing the Right Life Plan Community
Choosing to move to a Life Plan Community is about creating and exploring new possibilities in the life you want to lead.
Download a PDF version of this guide
Download download
couple gardening

Independent Living

What is independent living?

Sometimes called residential living, independent living is very similar to how you are living now. Residents live independently in their apartment or cottage home and do not have any significant care needs. Independent living offers first-class amenities and endless opportunities for connection, well-being and security.

WHO IS INDEPENDENT LIVING FOR?

Ideal for the active adult who is seeking fewer household responsibilities and wants to spend more time pursuing what they love, independent living features a vibrant social environment, delicious dining opportunities and easy access to wellness resources.

Independent living is a lot like staying at your current home except that at a Life Plan Community, you’ll have access to the amenities, services and opportunities that make life that much sweeter.

ENJOY ALL-INCLUSIVE LIVING.

While you are living independently, you are spared from having to worry about the many tasks of homeownership. As a part of all-inclusive living, home maintenance, landscaping and housekeeping tasks are taken care of for you. In addition, flexible dining plans mean you only need to cook if you want to and community events, classes and excursions are readily available.

Depending on the community, independent living offers a variety of floor plans and options to meet your needs and lifestyle, including:

  • Cottages
  • Garden homes
  • Single-family homes
  • Apartment homes
three men fishing

Recent research has indicated that social connections are a strong predictor of longevity.”

STAY ACTIVE AND ENGAGED.

With your home taken care of — inside and out, from meals to maintenance — you’ll have the freedom to do more of what you love every day. In community living, you are never too far away from a friendly neighbor, which means you can connect with others more easily than if you were living at home alone.

Forming meaningful relationships with peers and stepping out of isolation can mean a healthier body, mind and spirit. Recent research has indicated that social connections are a strong predictor of longevity, with science demonstrating that peer connections and support can lead to decreased cognitive decline, decreased risk of heart disease and even decreased risk of premature death.

What types of social opportunities can you experience when you call an independent living community home? Well, almost anything you can think of! Here are a few examples of events or programs you might see in an independent living community:

  • Volunteering with local nonprofits, at schools or as a zoo docent
  • Taking courses offered on campus
  • Going on excursions locally, nationally or even internationally 
  • Taking a Zumba, water aerobics, yoga or meditation class
  • Exercising with a certified personal trainer in the on-site gym
  • Enjoying a delicious meal with friends in the community bistro
  • Participating in a community club, religious gathering or advisory board

With all these opportunities for face-to-face interactions and engagement, you’ll be feeling happier, healthier and more connected than ever before.

ACCESS FIRST-RATE AMENITIES.

One of the best parts about independent living is the top-notch amenities that are designed to enhance health, connection and overall wellness. As a resident, you’ll have access to everything an all-inclusive Life Plan Community has to offer, such as:

  • Wellness center, spa and pool
  • Delicious and nutritious chef-prepared meals
  • Multiple dining options on campus
  • Community gardens, solariums, atriums, walking paths and other green spaces
  • LIbraries and inviting indoor/outdoor meeting spaces
  • Gift shop and mail services
  • Salon and barbershop services
  • Wi-Fi and utilities
  • Housekeeping, linen and laundry services
  • Home and lawn maintenance
  • Transportation services
  • Security services

Independent living is all about saying goodbye to many of the stresses and hassles of homeownership so you can devote more time to doing what you love.

couple on bikes

Independent living is all about saying goodbye to many of the stresses and hassles of homeownership so you can devote more time to doing what you love.”

See what HumanGood residents and family are saying.
lifeplan_quote-placeholder

We moved here 11 years ago and have been happy ever since. The management is great, and the residents are very friendly. We’re all here for the same reason: to enjoy life. Our daughter thought we were too young to move here, but once she realized how nice it is and how much we enjoy it, she changed her mind.”

Harvey Zimmerman

a resident of a HumanGood Life Plan Community

senior woman and nurse

Assisted Living

What is assisted living?

Assisted living provides residents with extra support with daily activities, when and how they need it. Residents enjoy their independence as well as the peace of mind that comes with knowing a friendly caregiver is ready to provide a helping hand if needed.

WHO IS ASSISTED LIVING FOR?

Assisted living is perfect for adults who need extra support with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, managing medications and more. This senior living option provides more personalized assistance but without sacrificing the full community lifestyle.

In assisted living, team members get to know a bit more about your needs, preferences and interests so that they can provide assistance customized just for you.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ASSISTED LIVING.

At a Life Plan Community, health changes and assistance needs don’t diminish your independence or connection to the larger community. In fact, assisted living residents enjoy many of the same top-notch amenities and services as their independent living neighbors but with that extra helpful assistance that can make life a bit easier.

Assisted living residents typically live in apartment homes that come in a variety of floor plans. These neighborhoods include safety features such as:

  • 24/7 security and emergency call system

  • Medication management and monitoring

  • Access to around-the-clock care if needed

senior man getting a haircut

Assisted living residents enjoy many of the same top-notch amenities and services as their independent living neighbors.”

Stay active and engaged.

Community life and the benefits of connection are a part of every day in assisted living. The goal of assisted living in a Life Plan Community is to support each person as they pursue their independent interests and rich social life on their own schedule.

Communities feature a carefully created event calendar for residents to enjoy as well as plenty of independent leisure time. Programs and events you might see in assisted living at a Life Plan Community might include:

  • A living history lecture with a storyteller dressed in costume

  • A wellness fair with local vendors

  • A themed family night dinner complete with a signature drink and dessert bar

  • Spiritual and religious gatherings

  • Excursions to support and explore local dining, shopping and cultural events

woman with wine

Communities feature a carefully created event calendar for residents.”

Access first-rate amenities.

Assisted living residents at a Life Plan Community enjoy easy access to all amenities on campus. This means that you can enjoy a live concert or schedule an appointment at the hair salon. Other amenities assisted living residents can enjoy include:

  • Chef-prepared meals served in the community’s dining room

  • Housekeeping, linen and laundry service

  • Transportation services

  • Security services

  • Peace of mind knowing someone is always there to provide personalized assistance

GettyImages-583980184

Skilled Nursing

What is skilled nursing?

Skilled nursing offers on-site therapy services and complex condition management while still providing personalized touches that help you feel at home.

WHO IS SKILLED NURSING FOR?

Skilled nursing is a senior living option for those who need short-term rehabilitation services to accelerate their recovery after a recent hospitalization or elective procedure. In these cases, skilled nursing professionals help you get back to your routine quickly and confidently.

Skilled nursing is also an excellent option for anyone who needs 24-hour nursing support for complex or chronic illnesses.

Hardly a “nursing home” of the past, skilled nursing in a Life Plan Community offers both short-term, post-acute recovery care and long-term nursing and hospice care.

lifeplan_quote-placeholder

Skilled nursing in a Life Plan Community offers both short-term, post-acute recovery care and long-term nursing and hospice care.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT SKILLED NURSING.

Skilled nursing often offers residents the choice between a private or semiprivate suite, both options with full bathrooms. They receive personalized assistance that still emphasizes independence with activities of daily living. In addition, nurses assist with chronic illness management while physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists work with residents to meet their health goals.

Residents who live in skilled nursing, whether short-term or long-term, have access to services designed to keep them feeling their best. This includes:

  • Personalized service plans
  • Education to enhance recovery
  • Around-the-clock assistance from experienced professionals and clinicians
  • Medication managementand monitoring as well as treatment services
  • Customized meals for specific diets
    Physical, occupational, speech and IV therapy services
  • Restorative nursing services focused on achieving optimal physical function
  • Respiratory treatments as needed
  • Skilled nursing services such as wound management and
    surgical recovery
  • Hospice and respite services 

If you move into independent living early and you happen to fall or have a short-term illness that requires constant care, you can easily relocate to the campus’ skilled nursing facility for the duration of your rehabilitation. Then, head back to independent or assisted living as soon as you are fully recovered.

Stay active and engaged.

Even though those living in skilled nursing may have a few additional health challenges, it doesn’t mean the opportunities for engagement and connection are not still a part of daily life. Skilled nursing residents enjoy events, programs and opportunities designed to meet their recovery goals as well as bring a bit of levity and stress relief to their days.

nurse giving senior woman blanket

Memory Support

What is memory support?

Memory support, sometimes referred to as memory care or dementia care, are communities that are specially designed to support adults living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. From highly specialized environments to specially trained team members, these communities are havens of safety, comfort and wellness for those living with cognitive decline.

woman at dinner

Memory support communities feature a homelike, person-centered environment created to emphasize abilities and enhance autonomy.”

WHO IS MEMORY SUPPORT FOR?

Memory support is an ideal senior living option for someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.

Memory support communities feature a homelike, person-centered environment created to emphasize abilities and enhance autonomy. Pair this with just the right amount of assistance and team members who follow best practices in memory support, and you get a neighborhood of residents who are safe, comfortable and engaged.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MEMORY SUPPORT.

Memory support at a retirement community is often set up with a welcoming, open-concept layout that helps to foster community living and engagement. These communities feel like home and are often complete with cozy living rooms and interactive kitchens. In many communities, family members and residents complete a special memory box to hang outside their private suite, giving anyone the opportunity to get a snapshot of each resident’s life and interests.

Other highlights of memory support communities can include:

  • 24-hour assistance and silent security system
  • Low team member-to-resident ratio, which means residents receive more personalized attention
  • Bright, open living rooms and safe access to outdoor spaces, including memory gardens and courtyards
  • A social and welcoming dining room where residents can enjoy meals with their neighbors
  • Private suites with full bathrooms

Stay active and engaged.

Life in a memory support community is based on each individual resident’s preferences and routines. Caregivers and other team members spend time getting to know these key components so that they can provide the right amount of assistance and support. While the day includes favorite routines residents recognize and enjoy, caregivers are also flexible, pivoting their approach or intervention based on what is most important to the resident at that moment.

Every part of the day is treated as an opportunity to make a connection, whether social or cognitive. Meals are a social event full of reminiscing and discussion with friends and staff. Neighborhood walks not only offer physical exercise but also the chance to chat with friends or spot wildlife.

Life in a memory support community is based on each individual resident’s preferences and routines.”

You can find engaging events and special programs, such as:

  • Cognitive exercises, such as word games or trivia

  • Reminiscing groups where residents can share their stories with one another

  • Cooking demonstrations from the community chef

  • Gardening programs

  • Spiritual and religious fellowship events

  • Family events and support group

Additionally, because Life Plan Communities offer multiple types of living options and care levels all on one campus, couples are able to stay together no matter what type of care they need. For example, if a resident is living independently and their partner is living with Alzheimer’s, they can both live on one campus and take advantage of the amenities, life-enriching events and social opportunities a retirement community has to offer.

couple laying down on floor with moving boxes

Reasons to Make the Move to a Life Plan Community

As you plan for the future, you have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to where to live. Deciding to call a Life Plan Community home ensures that you enjoy the all-inclusive, maintenance-free lifestyle you want while providing peace of mind that support and care options are available nearby should the need ever arise.

At HumanGood, we have thoughtfully designed our Life Plan Communities to help our residents achieve three important things:

• Connection: “Community” doesn’t just describe a physical place. Living in community is a state of being in which we are stimulated, inspired, delighted and enriched by our sense of connection to our neighbors, to our natural surroundings and to the world around us. Human connection is what sustains us all.

•Well-being: When we eat well, sleep well and flex our bodies and our minds, we feel both well and good. The reward for that effort is vitality.

• Security: When we remove stress and fear, we make room for hope and joy. From that transition comes peace of mind.

Learn more about the benefits of senior living and begin to shape what comes next.

couple looking at computer

Choosing the Right
Life Plan Community

 

Now is your chance to shape what comes next. Choosing to move to a Life Plan Community is about more than a new home and having a plan in place for future needs. It’s about creating and exploring new possibilities in the life you want to lead, in the people you want around you and in yourself.

How do you best ensure that you are living life to the fullest? That you have more time for the things you want to do and greater access to them? That you are continually discovering new paths to enhance your own vitality? These are important questions to be asking. And the more deeply you explore these questions, the more clearly you may see that the right answers will lead you to a Life Plan Community.

Now that you understand all the senior living options available, you and your family can make an informed choice. When you’re ready, find a HumanGood community near you to ask questions or further your research.

Download a PDF version of this guide

Download a PDF version of this guide by filling out the form below.

The Complete Guide to Senior Living Options cover