Before entering a senior living community, it is usually necessary to determine the appropriate level of care that will be needed. Seniors who are generally healthy in body and mind may be able to self-assess their needs, but for those who have begun to experience physical or mental impairments, an evaluation by a geriatric social worker or other professional is preferable. Many senior living communities, particularly those that offer multiple levels of care, are capable of making this assessment.
Within senior living communities, these are the primary levels of care:
- Independent Living and Active Adult communities are for those who are generally able to care for themselves. They usually offer no healthcare, housekeeping or meal services.
- Assisted Living communities are for those who need some assistance with activities of daily living.
- Memory Care or Alzheimer’s Care communities are for those experiencing some level of dementia.
- Nursing and Long-term care (LTC) are for those with chronic illnesses or disabilities who cannot care for themselves.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) usually combine Independent and Assisted Living and Nursing Care in one location.