What is the perfect living situation for your senior relative?

The right answer depends on your family member’s needs and what each setting has to offer. For example, independent living facilities are ideal for active seniors who can thrive in a community but still treasure their privacy. Many include studio or multi-bedroom apartments with kitchens to promote independence.

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) are more suitable for seniors who require a transition from independent living to skilled nursing care in a single place. CCRCs also feature multi-bedroom apartments for more independent residents as well as private or shared rooms for residents who require more care.

Assisted living facilities are designed for seniors who must be cared for and supervised but are not quite in the skilled nursing care phase yet. Private or semi-private rooms within a complex are available.

Board and care facilities offer more of an advantage for physically- or mentally-disabled seniors who nonetheless do not need round the clock skilled nursing care. Usually a large home or other type of complex with private or semi-private rooms and communal dining.

Skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes benefit seniors with physical or mental conditions that warrant full-time surveillance and medical attention. Most residents live in semi-private rooms with meals included.

Comparison chart

 

Independent living

CCRC

Assisted living

Board & Care

Skilled nursing

Type of care

Daily personal care

 

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

Medication monitoring

 

 

ü   

ü   

ü   

Memory and Alzheimer’s care

 

Some

Some

Some   

some

Physical, occupational and other therapies

 

ü   

 

Through external agencies

ü   

Skilled nursing care

 

ü   

 

 

ü   

Hospice care

 

 

 

Some

Some

Amenities

Social activities

ü   

ü   

ü   

 

ü   

Housekeeping

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

Meals

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

Transportation

ü   

ü   

ü   

 

 

Approx. annual cost

 

$12k-$42k

$20k-$400k move-in fee, plus $6k-$48k yearly

$28k-$66k

$14.4k-$36k

$86k-$90k

Payment

Private

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

Medicaid

 

 

Expenses other than room/board

 

ü   

Medicare

 

 

 

 

For a limited time

SSI

 

 

ü   

 

 

Veterans assistance

ü   

 

ü   

 

ü   

Long-term care insurance

ü   

 

 

Some

ü