4 Levels of Care in a Life Plan Community
◇ Shared blog post from United Zion Retirement Community
Senior living has evolved significantly over the years and has many options. With this in mind, many baby boomers frequently ask themselves: What senior care services will I need moving forward? Is a particular senior living community right for me?
Life Plan Communities, also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offer several levels of care from independent residential living to nursing care that support residents as needs change. It’s important for seniors to understand how a Life Plan Community can support them as they age and take away the worries about future health concerns, whether memory loss or declining health.
Here are the different levels of care to expect at a Life Plan Community, along with some of their differences.
Independent Residential Living
Many seniors start to think about retirement living long before they are in need of regular care. Independent residential living offers apartments and cottages in a community of like-aged individuals. This provides an environment where seniors have maintenance and grounds care handled for them, while they enjoy social and wellness activities with their peers. The communities also offer on-campus amenities, such as fitness centers, salons, dining, physician services, therapy services, and transportation services.
Personal Care provides additional services to seniors who need assistance with everyday living. Residents maintain their independence, but have additional access to skilled personnel who can help them carry out activities of daily living (ADLs). This can include memory support, medication management, housekeeping, grooming, and incontinence care.
Support and cost depend on the how much assistance is needed. Personal Care tends to include a minimum of three meals a day, housekeeping, linen service, and social activities. Personal Care units can range from a small efficiency apartment to a single-room unit with full bath.
Some communities may offer Assisted Living services, which is similar to Personal Care, but with additional medical support.
Many seniors suffer from memory loss complications, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Memory care is designed to provide a calm, independent environment that is safe and comfortable.
Memory care is structured to preserve the self-dignity of residents who are struggling with memory difficulties. Staff are specifically-trained to work with those experiencing brain change.
From prepared meals, to the personalized assistance from staff, the entire environment is carefully planned to provide support to residents affected by memory loss. Activities are set up to fit the needs of each individual. Memory Care may be a dedicated unit or integrated into Personal Care and Healthcare Centers.
Healthcare Centers provide skilled nursing and permanent custodial assistance for both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation. They also provide delivery of care from licensed nurses as part of the medical treatment plan. It is a higher-level of care given in response to one-time or ongoing medical conditions.
Short-term rehabilitation is a temporary stay in a skilled nursing location, usually after surgery, stroke, or other significant health issues. This temporary care ensures that seniors receive the treatment and support they need before moving back to their homes.
Long-term care is a more comprehensive treatment option, designed for seniors with chronic or progressive conditions, such as strokes, dementia, or permanent disabilities. Seniors have access to around-the-clock medical professionals who can respond immediately to any health concerns.
End-of-life care is also provided by Healthcare Centers. This level (which includes hospice care) involves administering care during the final stages of a person’s life.
The United Zion Retirement Community & the Life Plan Difference
Here at United Zion Retirement Community, we are proud to be a Life Plan Community. Our scenic hilltop location in Lititz, Lancaster County, PA provides a full-range of services to care for residents as they age. For more information about the benefits of Life Plan Communities and United Zion’s range of services, contact our team today.