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Different Levels of Care for the Elderly (Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing, and Rehabilitation)

There are different levels of care for the elderly and many also cater to seniors with dementia. Some care is permanent while rehabilitation is usually of short duration. The elderly person can present with physical and/or mental health conditions and this will determine the most appropriate level of care. This guide to the different levels of care for the elderly will help you make the best decision for your parents, as they need ever-increasing support to cope with daily life.

Living At Home

Many retired people prefer to stay in their own homes. They are still in relatively good health and have not shown signs of mental deterioration. These seniors can manage their budget, operate technology, cook and manage housekeeping tasks, keep up with hobbies and fitness activities, and still drive themselves everywhere.

Retirement Home

At some point, one of your parents may pass away, leaving the other partner alone. It may become harder for the living spouse to cope with a house and garden on their own. This is often the impetus behind a decision to move to a retirement village.

This move will relieve the remaining spouse of the need to maintain the garden or clean the house. Meals may be provided by the retirement home. While still in good health, this is a great solution as your loved one will be able to make new friends, socialize, and live in a complex with better security features than a house.

Living with Relatives

Events, such as surgery or a serious fall, may make it necessary to take your parent into your home. This can be quite an adjustment for everyone, but often it all goes smoothly. Granny or Grandpa is available to supervise older children that do not need to be carried around or lifted. Sometimes, siblings agree to take turns looking after the surviving parent.

Assisted Living

When it is impossible to take your surviving parent into your home, assisted living is the next level. This form of care is for seniors who are still independent but may need help with some ADLs. Housekeeping keeps rooms clean and chefs prepare meals.

Memory Care

Memory care is for the elderly who suffer from dementia. The person will receive assistance with ADL and stimulating memory activities. These centers utilize security measures to prevent the patient from wandering off due to the confusion the condition causes.

It is important that a parent does not feel abandoned. Find memory care facilities near me so that your loved one is nearby, and you can visit frequently.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing is an intensive level of care. It is suitable for residents that cannot perform most or all of the ADLs, are bedridden, and need to be in diapers permanently. The person may or may not have a mental disorder like dementia that has progressed to its final stages, but they are usually physically incapacitated too.


Rehabilitation is a temporary form of care. It is useful for recovery after surgery or a stroke. If the elderly person fails to regain independence, he/she may need to be moved to full-time nursing care.


Always engage your parents in discussions concerning decisions about their living arrangements.

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