Understanding the Senior Living Spectrum

Feb 28, 2019

When you or a loved one are looking for a senior living solution, you may quickly become overwhelmed by choice – not just from the sheer number of communities out there, but also by the many different types of communities. 55+ communities, independent living, assisted living, adult day care, CCRC … why is this one different from the other, and what is the best fit for you?

“The senior living spectrum runs from the completely independent to around-the-clock skilled nursing care and everything in between,” says Doris Lea, Executive Director of Hidden Springs of McKinney. “Trying to decide what option is right for you right now can be difficult enough, but most seniors are also trying to make a decision about what senior living option will be best for them overall – now and in the future. That’s a lot to take in and can make your decision that much more difficult.”

Doris says that the first step seniors and their loved ones should take is understanding the spectrum of senior living available and looking at the options through the lens of current and future needs. “If you’re a healthy, active and independent senior but have a family history of Alzheimer’s or other dementia, you may want to consider a different form of senior living than a peer who is just as active and independent but has a family history of chronic heart issues,” she says. “By doing your research, planning ahead and weighing your options carefully, you will be able to find a senior living option along the spectrum that will be able to flex and support you throughout this chapter of your life.”

In order to provide you with the information you need, we’ve put together information on the spectrum of senior living from most independent to least independent. You can use this as a guideline to begin your research and determine what option or options might suit you or a loved one best.

Active Adult Communities. Also known as 55+ communities, these are age-restricted communities (either neighborhoods, apartment complexes, townhomes or a combination) offering benefits for active and healthy seniors who want the independence of living on their own but don’t want the hassle of dealing with exterior home maintenance. These types of communities also have HOA-style perks like a clubhouse, fitness center, game room, gathering area and other options. A senior who is interested in living around people in the same stage of life and having some community benefits, but not needing services like housekeeping or dining, would benefit from this type of community.

Independent Living. Independent living is for the healthy and active senior who wants to get rid of all their chores, period – even things like laundry, cooking and cleaning! This type of lifestyle is a step up from a 55+ community, offering maintenance-free living, providing meals three times a day and even more amenities like a spa/salon, dining rooms and other resort-style perks. Residents also benefit from 24-hour security care, transportation and a dedicated staff available to help at any time.

Assisted Living. This lifestyle is what most people think of when they hear the words “senior living.” This type of category is perfect for a senior who wants to live independently and is still fairly healthy, but needs a little extra help in order to be safe and active. Assisted living communities are staffed with aids and nurses who are available 24/7 to help with mobility, tasks of daily living, medication management and other things the resident might require. Generally, residents live in private or shared apartments that have housekeeping and linen service included. Meals are served in a community dining room, and there are similar perks to independent living, such as a full social calendar, organized events and transportation.

Memory Care. Individuals who are living with a form of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease may eventually need to live in a memory care community. Oftentimes, these types of communities are part of a larger senior living community, but there are also stand-alone options. Residents of a memory care community benefit from many of the same amenities and services as someone in an independent or assisted living community, but have the additional security of residing in a facility that has been specially designed to meet their unique needs. Memory care communities are secured in order to keep residents safe from wandering, are staffed 24/7 by security and professionally trained personnel, and have beneficial features like care stations, visual and directional cues, a calming atmosphere and programming based on the latest in dementia care research. Memory care communities are designed to care for any individual no matter where on the dementia spectrum they are, allowing them to live with dignity, exercise their remaining abilities and create happy moments.

Skilled Nursing. The most intensive form of senior living care is skilled nursing. Skilled nursing can be either a short-term or long-term solution, depending on how extensive a senior’s needs are. Short-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation services are available following surgery, illness or accident. Longer-term skilled nursing is if the senior needs more help than what can be provided in assisted living or memory care.

“Hidden Springs of McKinney is proud to be able to offer a wide variety of care along the senior living spectrum, from independent living and assisted living to memory care,” says Doris. “We are excited to be the area’s unique choice for seniors wishing to live a progressive lifestyle in an engaging contemporary community and look forward to welcoming residents beginning in September 2019.”

We invite you to visit Hidden Springs of McKinney and discover The Secret to a Life Well Lived. For more information about our innovative, active senior life community or our beautiful location in McKinney, TX, please contact 972.445.9844.

Active Retirement Living for a Healthy Tomorrow

The secret to a life well-lived awaits you at Hidden Springs of McKinney. Envisioned and developed by Madison Marquette, a company with a 25-year track record of investing in vibrant communities and a stellar reputation for developing luxury residences, you’ll discover all the possibilities your retirement brings … as well as the confidence of knowing your future is secure.

Our beautifully appointed, active retirement living community is created for those who expect more out of life. Luxury living, gracious services, resort-quality amenities, engaging programs and stunning apartments in 12 floor plans are just a few of the benefits awaiting you. And with assisted living and memory care services offered on campus, you can retire with complete peace of mind, knowing that if needs change, the care you deserve is right at home.