Today we want to discuss the differences between supportive living versus assisted living. Most people are familiar with the major senior living options: independent living, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living communities. You’ve probably even seen ads or commercials about some of the senior living communities in your area. But how do you know if your senior needs to move from one model to another? Or if transitioning into one is a safe and realistic option? There’s a lot at stake. Keep reading to learn more about two models for seniors that could make a difference in everyone’s quality of life and peace of mind.
What is Supportive Living?
Supportive living is an independent senior living option that provides personal care, regular socialization, and educational activities in a comfortable and homey setting. All supportive living communities are different and will have different amenities available to its residents. At a minimum, these communities offer residents three meals a day, housekeeping, daily activities, medication management, scheduled transportation, and help bathing and dressing. Each resident has their own apartment, usually no more than two bedrooms. Potential amenities include barber or beauty services, recreational spaces, and walking trails. Supportive living communities are government subsidized to provide a financial safety net to residents. That means that residents who are unable to pay for their room and board are not required to vacate. Each community has its criteria and qualifications, so be sure to ask about age requirements, financial need and/or inability to qualify for other state or federal assistance programs.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living facilities are very similar to supportive living communities. Residents in assisted living communities are independent and only need minimal assistance. There are no standard federal regulations of these communities, and when the room and board is not paid, residents will be required to leave. Some of them will also service disabled persons in addition to seniors. The biggest difference between assisted and supportive living is the pricing model. Assisted living communities offer all of the same basic supports and provide a variety of variable amenities.
Making the Choice
Whether you’re a concerned family member or friend, or a senior making plans for the future, the decision may not be as simple as fish or chicken. There are a lot of factors to be considered when choosing supportive living or assisted living. A big part of the decision is being realistic about what you can and can’t do, what you need help with, and what your budget looks like. There are other considerations to make as well, including location, proximity to medical care providers, and cultural preferences. If you’re a family member of a senior, having an open and honest conversation can help ease the decision-making, so don’t be afraid to let your loved one in on the decision if it is safe to do so.
There are a lot of senior living options available, and each one has its merits and challenges. Chances are that there isn’t a “perfect” solution, but choosing between an assisted living community and a supportive living community is a lot easier when you understand the difference between the two.