By Carrie Vittitoe
Illustration by Brittany Granville
The terminology surrounding senior care can be confusing. What’s the difference between assisted living and skilled nursing? What exactly is independent living? The industry happens to be in the midst of rebranding continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) as life plan communities, which may further contribute to the general public’s confusion.
Whether they are referred to as CCRCs or life plan communities, the concept is the same: they are senior living communities that provide different types of accommodations for seniors. Many offer independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, and even memory care. Not every CCRC offers every type of care, and it can be difficult for individuals and their adult children to know which community is a good fit for a senior’s needs. In order to allay some confusion, we’ve asked a number of experts from local CCRCs to help clarify things.
Rhonda Harding, director of sales, marketing, and residency development at Treyton Oak Towers
Q: My mom is a widow. She wants to downsize and is looking for a community. What is the best type of living option for her?
Our best recommendation is a continuum of care community. You move into independent living, but as you need more services, we have that in place. We can offer assistance in your independent apartment. Then, if you need more assistance than that, we have personal care apartments. After that, there’s skilled nursing. Should you have a health episode while you’re living in independent or personal care, you have an onsite health center at your fingertips. There are two types of independent living. One is no different from a condo. Some communities offer a meal plan at a cost for independent living residents. Independent living at Treyton Oak Towers is different; we offer two meals a day and housekeeping services because we’re in a high-rise. We can offer services that other independent living communities do not.