Understanding Different Levels of Care for Seniors in West Seattle

Posted by Marlene Williams on Nov 18, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Daystar Retirement Village has been serving seniors and their families for more than xxx years, so we could write the book on assisted living and the long-term care needs of seniors. But, we realize that for many people, the first time they think seriously about long-term care is when a loved one experiences a medical crisis.

With that in mind, this month we wanted to blog about the different levels of care that are available to seniors in West Seattle. The broad outlines of what is available is pretty clear, but within those categories there are differences that can be significant, so it is important to get recommendations from people you trust and visit those facilities you are interested in, perhaps more than once, and ask plenty of questions.

Senior Communities

Senior housing is designed for people over a minimum age (sometimes it is 55) who typically do not need any assistance with activities of daily living. They are often neighborhoods, gated communities or even towns, such as Sun City in Arizona, where seniors have access to a wide variety of amenities such as social clubs, travel clubs, golf, tennis and entertainment.

Continuing Care

Continuing care communities provide services ranging from independent living (a resident rents an apartment, but is otherwise independent) all the way to, in some cases, memory care, where the resident has 24/7 supervision. Residents are usually admitted when they are independent, but move to a higher level of care if and when their needs increase.


Related: Being a Caregiver in West Seattle

Assisted Living

Many assisted living facilities also offer an independent living option. At Daystar, residents who opt for independent living pay a monthly rent that includes evening meals in our restaurant-style dining room, weekly housekeeping, social events, arts programs and other on-site entertainment, diverse classes, workshops and exercise programs, scheduled transportation to doctor appointments, shopping or other errands, and three non-intrusive wellbeing checks each day. Floor plans are here.

For residents who opt for assisted living, their monthly rent includes all of the above, plus three meals a day and access to higher levels of care as they need it, including assistance with medication management, bathing, dressing and getting to and from meals.  You can see floor plans here. Assisted living facilities are designed for older residents who need some assistance with activities of daily living, but are generally healthy and do not require ongoing skilled nursing care.

Board and care

A board and care home is generally a single-family residence that has been renovated to accommodate up to six adults living together with one or more caregivers. Residents living in board and care homes often need more close supervision than those living in assisted living, but still do not require skilled nursing care.

Skilled Nursing Facility

Most often people are admitted to a skilled nursing facility directly from a hospital where a doctor has determined that the person’s needs cannot be met at the person’s previous home. Skilled nursing facilities often have two distinct populations—those in rehab care who are expected to return to their previous home and those in long-term care.

Inside Elder Care has created a helpful graphic that summarizes the differences in levels of elder care available.

If you or a loved one is just beginning this journey, the best thing you can do is gather as much information as you can and talk to people who have walked this path before. If you think assisted living might be right for you or a loved one, please call us at Daystar and see what we have to offer.

Click here to download the Caregivers Guide

Tags: Senior Living 101

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