← Back to Blog

Levels of Care at a Senior Living Community | Lake Forest Place

How Does Assisted Living Differ from Other Levels of Care?

Every level of care offered at a Life Plan Community is designed to meet the needs of a specific population. The therapies, activities and lifestyle you find in each level of care are specialized to serve the individuals whom they benefit.

“Many people think assisted living is the same as a nursing home or memory care. This isn’t the case,” says Valerie Gostele, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lake Forest Place. “A nursing home – or skilled nursing care – is designed for the individual who needs long-term, around-the-clock medical care from a medical professional. Memory care is for individuals who can benefit from specially designed therapies focused on memory loss and cognitive decline. Assisted living, on the other hand, provides residents support with activities of daily living (ADLs) so they can live with as much independence as possible.”

Regardless of what you or your loved one needs, the care you receive at a Life Plan Community will be tailored to you. Keep reading to learn more about the distinctions of assisted living when compared with other levels of care.

What Are Five Hallmarks of Assisted Living?

1. Support with ADLs

Care in assisted living consists of support with activities of daily living. Care plans provide assistance to maintain your independence. Residents may receive help with bathing, dressing, cleaning, cooking, toileting, ambulating or managing medications. This ADL support enables the assisted living resident to easily move on with their day, independently pursuing their interests on and off campus.

Residents receiving skilled nursing care or memory care will also be given assistance to complete activities of daily living. In addition, a skilled nursing patient will be monitored 24/7 by a licensed medical professional who will administer therapies and medical care. A memory care resident will receive 24/7 security and participate in programs focused on Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.

It’s important to note that a diagnosis is only a contributing factor when it comes to determining level of care. A resident with early-stage dementia, for example, may be more appropriately placed in assisted living if they’re still able to live with degrees of independence. More important than a label are the needs of the individual.

2. A Focus on Preserving Independence

Assisted living is the first tier of support in senior living and can look a lot like life in an independent living community. In fact, the aim of assisted living is to provide the right amount of support so a resident can live as independently as possible.

If the support needed by an assisted living resident becomes more complex, they need frequent medical care, or are at risk of falling, this may require a move to skilled nursing. Here, they can receive around-the-clock medical care.

If an assisted living resident develops dementia or enters later stages of Alzheimer’s, these changes may necessitate a move into memory care. Here,  the atmosphere is kept serene to enhance a sense of wellbeing and comfort for the resident, and safety measures are put in place to prevent wandering.

3. A Life Rich with Opportunities

Assisted living communities are much more than the care they provide. The amenities, services and opportunities create a setting for a fulfilling life.

Some common amenities at an assisted living community include:

  • Walking trails
  • Gardens
  • Dog park
  • Arts and crafts studio

Some common services offered at an assisted living community include:

  • Safety and wellness checks
  • Home maintenance
  • Housekeeping
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Emergency call systems
  • Flexible dining options

Some common activities available at an assisted living community include:

  • Fitness classes
  • Outings
  • Movie nights
  • Bible studies
  • Lifelong learning classes

In skilled nursing homes and memory care facilities, amenities, services and opportunities are not necessarily less abundant, but they’re tailored to the residents’ interests and skills. They offer specialized recreational activities, accessible and therapeutic amenities, and services that align with the needs of their residents.

4. A Spotlight on Wellness

While the daily care an assisted living resident receives isn’t medical in nature, when you choose a continuing care retirement community, you will often have access to on-site medical care when needed.

Beyond daily care you may need, you’ll also find most assisted living communities foster a culture of wellness. At Lake Forest Place for example, residents are encouraged to nurture seven dimensions of wellness and are provided opportunities to grow in each of these areas.

This focus on wellness is also common in skilled nursing and memory care facilities. While the scheduled activities in each level of care may be different, this holistic approach to wellness is practiced widely throughout senior living.

5. An Emphasis on Dignity

Assisted living allows you to have control over your schedule. Residences are private, and seniors can decorate with their own furniture and items. In most cases, you can choose your residence from a variety of apartment floor plans. Whether at home in their residence or elsewhere on campus, the support of staff is always nearby – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Residents can enjoy entertaining visitors in their residence or in many of the dining venues, gardens, patios and lounges located throughout the beautiful campus. Residents also enjoy joining their family, friends and neighbors on private outings.

Like assisted living, skilled nursing care and memory care facilities are warm, inviting, and designed to feel like home. Seniors live in private residences as well. Guests are welcome to visit their loved ones in their residence or spend time with them in communal gathering spaces.

A Full Continuum of Care at Lake Forest Place

Lake Forest Place is a Life Plan Community that offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and respite care. The quality of life of residents is enhanced by our exceptional services, convenient amenities, and steadfast commitment to their health. Come visit our beautiful 60-acre campus for a glimpse into what the Lake Forest life is like for residents.