When needing a higher level of assistance than family and friends can provide for an aging senior citizen, many caretakers look into senior housing placement for their loved one. There are a number of different housing options in Denver and there with a sea of terms to navigate, so I’ve developed a short list of common terms in world of senior housing:
– Independent Living (IL) – This can mean everything from mostly autonomous living in a small ranch home within a care community to living in a facility with both independent living and assisted living in which meals are provided and aide is provided with some household chores.
– Assisted Living (AL) – Assisted living facilities primarily provide support with activities of daily living such as bathing, toileting, eating, and ambulation and assist with chores such as laundry and meal preparation. Assisted living facilities provide apartment-style living for couples and singles and offer different “levels of care” based on the resident’s need, with a different price point for each level.
– Skilled Nursing Facility/Nursing Home – A skilled nursing facility, or nursing home, by law must provide 24-hour nursing coverage and typically staffs RNs, LPNs, and CNAs to care for more acute physical, mental, and emotional needs of residents. Many skilled nursing facilities in Denver focus on short-term rehabilitation stays for patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital and plan on returning home or to their assisted living community in addition to housing long-term residents. Others, such as Aspen Siesta, solely provide long-term care (LTC) with an emphasis on providing residents with a home-like environment in which to receive care.
– Aging in Place – This term is used to refer to enabling a senior to receive care while remaining at home, but is sometimes used by assisted living facilities to describe a slightly higher level of care than what many assisted livings would provide. Although aging in place can be a great situation under the right circumstances, sometimes people need a higher level of care that only a skilled nursing facility can provide or that would be too much of a financial burden in the home or assisted living context.
– Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) – Related to the idea of aging in place, CCRCs are facilities that seniors buy into in order to ensure care until end of life.
I hope you find this short list of terms helpful in sifting through the jargon of the elder care field. Of course, each person’s case is unique and there is no best housing situation for everyone. If you feel that a skilled nursing facility like Aspen Siesta would be a good fit for your loved one, or if you are unsure of what kind of housing would be best, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 303.757.1209.