8 Senior Care Options You Need To Know About

Senior couple kiss

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Here are 8 senior care options you need to know about. Each type offers slightly different facilities to meet the varied needs of seniors. Understanding the features and differences between the different types of senior care options is critical for choosing the right one.

  1. Independent Living Community

    Also known as: Senior Housing, Retirement Home, Retirement Community, or Senior Apartments

    What it is: An Independent Living Community could be in the form of an apartment complex, condominium, townhouse or a free-standing home located within a complex. Some housing options may be fully furnished and equipped while others provide only basic amenities.

    Who it’s good for: An independent living community is an excellent option for you if you are fully independent, love socializing, and require only minimum assistance. You can meet up with others in the community who share the same interests as you and help is generally just a call away.

    Benefits: Independent living communities offer a great combination of independence with plenty of socialization opportunities and help with personal care, housekeeping or medication if and when needed.

  2. Home Care

    Also known as: In-Home Personal Care, Non-Medical Care, or Home Health Care

    What it is: Many seniors choose to ‘age in place’ or stay in their own homes. This is known as home care. If you choose this option, you may have to hire a professional home care service or modify your home to accommodate your changing needs. There are several companies that offer all types of services from running errands, housekeeping, dressing and bathing, administering medications, and more. Search Aging Community’s Services Directory to find senior care services near you.

    Who it’s good for: Home care is well-suited for you if you are fairly independent and require only minimal help with ADLs (activities of daily living). What’s important is that you must have a support network of family and friends nearby to avoid the risk of isolation.

    Benefits: Home care allows you to live in familiar surroundings and is particularly beneficial if you have family nearby that you can interact with regularly.

  3. Assisted Living Community

    Also known as: Assisted Care Community, Assisted Living Facility, Senior Community, or Personal Care Home

    What it is: An assisted living community may offer a range of living options such as private apartments, shared apartments or private rooms. Residents have access to a variety of amenities including activity rooms, communal dining, recreational facilities, transportation services, and housekeeping services.

    Who it’s good for: An assisted living community is good fit for seniors who do not require a high level of care but require more day-to-day help than home care or independent living community offers.

    Benefits: A strong sense of community, plenty of opportunities to interact with other seniors, onsite medical assistance, nutritious meals, and help with everyday chores are some of the major benefits that assisted living communities offer.

  4. Respite Care

    Also known as: Adult Day Care, or Short-Term Stay Program

    What it is: A Respite Care facility is designed to offer seniors assistance for shorter periods of time, which may be a few days to a few weeks or a month. Some respite care centers offer only daytime assistance with no provisions for overnight accommodation.

    Who it’s good for: Respite care may be a solution for you if your caregiver has a full-time job if your caregiver needs to take the day off to attend to some other work.

    Benefits: It works as a timely solution for those days when your caregiver can’t be home with you.

  5. Residential Care Home

    Also known as: Board and Care Homes, Group Homes or Adult Family Homes

    What it is: A Residential Care Home offers a setting that’s similar to in-home care. You can set up home in your private accommodation while availing of a wide range of recreational opportunities and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).

    Who it’s good for: A residential care home may be a good fit for you if you are independent and want the feel of home but need occasional assistance.

    Benefits: In this setting, you can enjoy your independence and privacy while also having easy access to personal, and medical care.

  6. Memory Support

    Also known as: Memory Care, Alzheimer’s Care, or Dementia Care

    What it is: A Memory Support facility is tailored to meet the needs of seniors with signs of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. The premises have additional security measures in place to prevent residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s from wandering off site and getting lost. Most staff members receive specialist training in caring for seniors with memory problems.

    Who it’s good for: This type of senior community may be excellent if you or a loved one has memory problems and requires specialized dementia care.

    Benefits: Trained staff at memory support facilities offer residents specialized dementia care and personalized structured routines that help strengthen cognitive skills and slow down memory decline.

  7. Nursing Home

    Also known as: Long Term Care, Convalescent Care or Skilled Nursing

    What it is: A Nursing Home offers residents the highest level of medical care and assistance. Accommodation is in the form of a private room or shared room. The staff at nursing homes are highly trained in providing advanced care after a serious injury or rehabilitative care to seniors recovering from surgery.

    Who it’s good for: A nursing home may be a good fit for you if you need extensive long-term medical care after a serious illness or short-term rehabilitation care after surgery but do not have family members who are able to provide that level of care.

    Benefits: You get the medical care you need in a home-setting rather than staying in a hospital.

  8. Hospice Care

    Also known as: Palliative Care

    What it is: Hospice Care facilities provide end-of-life care to seniors who are in the final stages of an incurable medical condition. These centers focus on pain relief, comfort, and quality of life during an individual’s final days.

    Who it’s good for: Hospice care if the best option if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an incurable illness and require extensive continued care.

    Benefits: There’s great comfort in knowing that you or a loved one will be cared for and comforted during those final days.


Choosing the right senior care option for yourself or a loved one is crucial to quality of life. It impacts the type and level of care you or your loved one will receive as well as the total cost. Taking the time to understand the differences between the senior care options available will help you choose one that matches your care needs.