If you or a loved one is currently searching for a retirement community, it is important to do so with the long-term in mind. Make sure your senior community offers a continuum of care. What exactly is a continuum of care, and why is it important?
Defining Continuum of Care
“Continuum of care” simply refers to the various types of senior living and how they relate to one another as time goes on. For example, a person may enter a senior community with the ability to live independently, but later require growing levels of assistance. A proper continuum of care allows that individual’s level of care to be adjusted as necessary.
Where many senior facilities fail is that they only offer one service and fail to meet the changing needs of residents. Every person is different. Some seniors might be perfectly independent and merely desire the social aspect of a senior community. Other seniors need help with cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, etc. Still, others require extra medical care or suffer from memory loss. Whatever the need is, it is important to know everything about a senior community’s continuum of care before going to live there.
While some communities may not offer all levels of care in one facility, a proper continuum of care allows residents to transfer between facilities as needed.
What Are the Different Levels of Care?
Every community varies when it comes to types and levels of senior care. However, most senior citizens fall into one of the following 3 categories when it comes to retirement communities.
An independent living facility is exactly what it sounds like. Those of retirement age often move into independent living communities for the social aspect, extracurricular activities, amenities, etc. However, a strictly independent living community does not require an extra level of care for residents. In other words, residents handle their own food, transportation, hygiene, housework, etc.
On the other hand, those who require assisted living need a little more help with daily tasks. Assisted living does not necessarily pertain to medical problems, but rather issues like driving, cooking, cleaning, etc. Many retirement communities combine independent living and assisted living into one facility so that residents can adjust their lifestyles as necessary.
The third category exists for individuals who deal with long-term medical or memory problems. On-site nurses, doctors, and caregivers help with medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and more.
If you or your loved one are currently in the independent living category, it can be difficult to see why a continuum of care matters. However, beginning your independent living journey with a facility that makes it easy to transition down the road is a great way to prepare for the future.
Looking for a Great Senior Community?
The Woodlands is an Independent Senior Housing community where quality, convenience, and the comfort of a caring and vibrant community free you to live your best life. Contact us today with any questions or for more information!