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Different Types of Elder Care Facilities

Understanding the Different Residential and Facility Options for Seniors

Independent Living (IL or ILF)
IL is a senior living option that is designed to enable independent seniors to enjoy an active lifestyle in a community of their peers.  IL typically involves apartment style housing for an age restricted community of residents. Independent living communities also are sometimes made up of freestanding homes or condominiums.  In some instances, the IL facility provides optional private duty services. In most cases, the facility develops a relationship with a private duty company that provides services to the residents as needed. These outside providers either rent an office in the building or visit the building periodically.

Assisted Living (AL or ALF)
The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) defines Assisted Living as a senior living option that combines apartment style housing, organized social interaction, and private duty support services as needed. Health care services are often provided by outside providers who either rent an office in the building or visit the building periodically.  Assisted living is designed for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities such as meals, medication management, or physical assistance with bathing, dressing, and transportation. Some residents may have memory disorders including Alzheimer's, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence, or other challenges.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
A SNF is defined as an institution or part of an institution that meets criteria for accreditation established by the sections of the Social Security Act that determine the basis for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement for skilled nursing care. Skilled nursing care includes rehabilitation and various medical and nursing procedures.

Continuous Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
These campuses gather all levels of care onto one property. Generally the nurses and therapists of the SNF unit provide care as necessary to the AL and IL residents. However, the first priority of the health care staff on the campus is to care for the SNF residents. Often external providers of health care and private duty services are brought in to deliver care to the residents of the IL and AL portions of the property.

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