Understanding the Options

What Senior Living Is—and Isn’t

As seniors and their families navigate the very personal question of how, when, and where to transition from their current home, understanding the options can help.

The senior living model provides individualized support to each and every senior within the residential community. While some residents are simply ready to have someone else cook and clean for them, others require more active support throughout their day. Some may need assistance navigating cognitive or memory impairments.

But not all senior communities or healthcare facilities are the same. Here’s an overview of some of the alternatives:

  • A retirement community is, essentially, independent living. While some retirement communities offer prepared meals or housekeeping services, seniors must manage healthcare needs themselves and will often need to move to an appropriate medical care facility as their health declines.
  • An assisted living community offers prepared meals and maintenance service, and typically also provides support with medical care when needed. Scheduled programs and entertainment are focused on addressing the varied dimensions of a resident’s well-being. A licensed assisted living facility usually serves more independent residents and can offer some level of healthcare, but may not be able to support residents with substantial health concerns. The main difference between basic “assisted living” and “senior living” is that senior living (as offered at Wentworth Senior Living) can address both ends of the spectrum.
  • A nursing home is a long-term care residence with a much more medical, hospital-like feel—often with centrally located (and frequently beeping) nursing stations. Within this clinical environment, living spaces are typically shared. The daily schedule is often regimented as a result of the facility’s standard requirements for health monitoring, rather than resident preference. Residents may struggle to adjust to a loss of personal freedoms. At Wentworth Senior Living, our nursing staff is of the highest caliber, providing qualified care and assistance, as well as friendship and support. Residents maintain personal freedoms and choice, setting their own schedules.
  • A rehabilitation center, or skilled nursing facility, sometimes located within a nursing home, provides therapeutic care and rehabilitation for people recovering from an acute medical condition, such as a fracture or stroke. Rehabs are not long-term residences and length of stay is often determined by Medicare or private insurance coverage. The term “skilled nursing” is used by Medicare to define treatments (such as IV antibiotics, shots, dressing changes, or tube feeding) managed by a Medicare-certified registered nurse. While Wentworth Senior Living is not exclusively dedicated to this type of care, we are able to address residents’ needs to ensure optimum health.
  • Palliative and hospice care centers are specifically designed to address the needs of a person facing a serious illness and/or end of life. Palliative care or hospice care services typically focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than treatment, and can be made available both in a clinical or home setting. While Wentworth Senior Living is not exclusively dedicated to this type of care, we are able to address residents’ needs as they approach end of life.

As one hybrid community, senior living serves all senior populations.