Senior Care Options

There are many residential choices available to seniors today, and the different options vary greatly in terms of amenities, services and cost.

Where do you start? If you don’t know what you’re looking for it’s very difficult to recognize the right residential setting when you see it. So taking a few minutes to answer a few key questions is a great place to start.

Why are you considering a move for a loved one?

  • Be clear on the specific things that are prompting you to look for a different setting.
  • Once you’ve made your list, consider what’s most important in your search: Are the apartment size, features and building amenities most important?  Or is the reason for the move a concern about things like medication, nutrition, or help with personal care, where the range of services and the staff expertise will be very important?

How you answer these questions will help to refine your search. And it will help in the decision-making process. For example, if you are in a financial position that requires you to make a choice between spending dollars on a larger apartment VS spending dollars on more support, it helps to be very clear on the things that will be most important to your loved one’s health and success in a new setting.

Some Different Senior Care Options

Senior Apartments usually appeal to active, independent older adults who still participate fully in the outside community. The seniors who choose this setting usually drive, have their own social life, and take care of most things on their own. Living in this type of setting is much like living in any apartment complex, although there are age restrictions. If health changes, Senior Apartments don’t typically have the ability to meet those needs, as there are no health services on site.

In-home Care has an important role in the range of senior services. It is valuable for someone returning from a hospital or a stay in a rehabilitation center, that needs assistance for a short period of time.  It can work well when a loved one has a care need that follows a consistent schedule, such as a bath several times a week. An aide can come and provide that service on a scheduled basis. In-home care can also be helpful when family members are providing most of the support to an older adult and they need a break. Again, the specific care needs can be identified, and a caregiver can be scheduled to perform the tasks.

But one of the challenges of relying on in-home care is that needs do not always arise when a caregiver is in the home. Older adults have good days when everything goes according to plan, and other days when they need extensive support. When a loved one’s needs can’t be predicted and staff must flex to accommodate these changing needs, in-home care may no longer be the best fit, while an Assisted Living program could easily meet those needs. Read more about deciding between in-home care or assisted living.

Independent Living within a Senior Community is for older adults who take responsibility for their own daily activities. There are typically services that will enhance the quality of life and allow an individual to remain independent for a longer period of time. Those services include things like meals, transportation, housekeeping, laundry service, along with social and educational activities. Residents in independent living don’t receive help with personal care from the senior community, but do have access to additional care in case there is a health change. Independent Living communities will be staffed at much higher levels than apartment complexes because of these services. This is why the monthly cost of an Independent Living community will be more than the rent in a senior apartment complex where there are no services. Learn more about Independent Living Services.

Assisted Living is a term used to describe a type of residential care. For many seniors, assisted living conjures up a nursing home or “old folks” home of the past, because that’s where they visited their loved ones years ago. But that is an outdated view. In a Laureate Group community for example, everyone in assisted living has their own apartment, including those with dementia.

In addition to meals, housekeeping, transportation and social activities, Assisted Living also includes health monitoring, assistance with medications, help with self care such as grooming, dressing, bathing, using a bathroom or even transferring in and out of beds and chairs. It may also be beneficial for a loved one with early memory loss. Many people who were once struggling in their own homes without daily support can thrive in Assisted Living. With better nutrition, ongoing social interaction and proper use of medications, people can actually become more independent. Learn how Laureate Group provides Assisted Living Services in our communities. 

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care is a specialized type of assisted living. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. As symptoms worsen, people often benefit from the help offered in dedicated dementia care programs. In these programs, staff is specially trained, the environment is calm, and the space is safe for people who may wander. Personal guidance and encouragement from staff help individuals to remain as independent as possible. Learn how at some of our communities, we provide a program dedicated to the needs of those with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. 

A Nursing Home is a facility that provides both short-term rehabilitation after injury, illness or surgery, and long-term residential care for people who have more serious disabilities that require round the clock care due to their physical or mental condition. Very few people today need the care level of a nursing home on an ongoing basis, but instead are able to live in Assisted Living communities. The number of nursing homes has been drastically reduced because people primarily use them for short-term stays. In fact, in 2005, the number of assisted living beds in Wisconsin exceeded the Skilled Nursing beds in licensed capacity. At the Laureate Group, the great majority of people who move into our communities never need to relocate to a nursing home to receive required care.

If you are unsure about the best residential match for your loved one’s needs, we’re happy to help. With a few simple questions and a brief discussion, we can help you determine the best of the many options in senior care.

Contact the Community of your Choice

If you know the community that most interests you, call and speak with the Marketing Director. There’s no obligation, just information. We’re happy to answer your questions. Select the Laureate Group community that is right for you.

Contact Laureate Cares

If you are not sure of the location or type of program that best meets your needs, contact us through Laureate Cares: A free consultation service to help you navigate the maze of senior services. Each of our team members has at least 20 years of experience in senior services and works with seniors every single day. Your consultation will be with someone who knows the system, understands the challenges and can help you set a course to meet your needs.

Call us at 262-832-7113 to arrange for a free, confidential telephone consultation. We're ready to listen. We're eager to help. It's what we do everyday