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What Are the Different Levels of Care in Senior Living?

If you or a loved one is considering moving to a senior living community, one of the first things to determine is the level of care you need. Everyone experiences different challenges as they age, which is why many communities offer varying levels of care to accommodate the shifting needs of their residents.

For example, Vinson Hall Retirement Community is a Life Plan Community, offering services from Independent Living to Assisted Living to Memory Care, depending on how much assistance an individual needs to live comfortably. If you aren't sure what level of care best fits your needs, here is a description of the most common senior living care levels. 

Senior Living and Life Plan Communities

Life Plan Communities offer tiered lifestyle and healthcare services on one campus, ensuring residents have access to the level of care they need at every life stage. Otherwise known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Life Plan Communities typically provide Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Care and Memory Care, although exact services can vary based on the community. 

The main reason some seniors choose a Life Plan Community is to age in one place, even as their health status changes. It's common for residents to enter the community at the Independent Living stage to enjoy the full host of amenities and life enrichment activities these communities provide and transition into higher levels of care as new health challenges arise. 

Independent Living

In Independent Living, seniors enjoy maintenance-free living and a variety of services and amenities to maintain an active and social lifestyle. Many communities offer housekeeping, laundry and transportation services, providing residents with more free time to partake in planned social activities or events, including games, live performances and arts and crafts.

Many Independent Living communities also offer wellness or fitness programs and amenities, such as a restaurant-style dining room and common areas. Residents have the freedom to create their own daily routines and leave the community as they wish for off-site excursions or appointments. This is an ideal living option for older adults who don't need personal care or medical support but wish to simplify their lives, stay active or expand their social network. 

Assisted Living

Assisted Living is tailored to older adults who need help with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation, to live safely. These communities are often confused with nursing homes, but they differ in a few ways. Assisted Living offers a homelike environment with trained staff to assist with personal care tasks but doesn't provide 24-hour skilled nursing care as nursing homes do, though Vinson Hall Retirement Community does have caregivers present 24 hours a day.

Since seniors in Assisted Living are usually still active and have fewer serious health issues, these communities feature social activities and amenities similar to Independent Living. 

Memory Care

For seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia, Memory Care offers a secure environment with care tailored to the unique challenges of memory loss. For example, Vinson Hall Retirement Community has a dedicated Memory Care community, The Sylvestry. It offers around-the-clock, specialized care administered by trained staff in a cheerful setting with natural light to prevent confusion and keep residents safe. 

Memory Care communities provide activities designed to stimulate the brain and help residents maintain cognitive functions. Because dementia has varying stages, care is often tiered to accommodate early and late stages, ensuring residents have the appropriate level of support. 

Nursing Care

Nursing Homes or Skilled Nursing communities serve seniors who require therapeutic or rehabilitative care but don't need to be hospitalized. Staff is available 24/7 to monitor residents' health and provide medical assistance the moment it's needed or assist with personal care tasks and medication management. Although this is considered a higher level of care and residents' needs can vary widely, many communities offer on-site activities to encourage engagement and prevent isolation. 

Many Skilled Nursing communities can accommodate residents needing long-term care due to chronic or terminal illnesses. However, some may also accept seniors recovering from an illness or injury requiring temporary care after hospitalization to return to full health. 

Consider Vinson Hall Retirement Community for Your Senior Care Needs

As a Life Plan Community, Vinson Hall Retirement Community can accommodate your care needs as they evolve over time. From Independent Living to Memory Care and Skilled Nursing, our community is dedicated to helping military officers and government employees age in a peaceful, stress-free environment aligning with their lifestyle needs. Schedule a tour today to see what our community offers and how it can help you plan for the future. 

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