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What Are the Different Levels of Care in Senior Living?

Posted on 
March 12, 2024

Here at Falcons Landing, we know that when you first begin considering senior living options, you encounter many new terms like Independent Living, Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living. Understanding the differences between these levels of care is key to choosing the community that is right for you, so we put together this guide that explains some of the key differences between them.

Life Plan Communities (CCRCs)

Before delving into the differences between levels of care, it’s important to first explore what a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or a Life Plan Community is. Senior living is a general term that refers to all communities for older adults, a Life Plan Community is a special type of senior living community that allows seniors to age in place.

CCRCs like Falcons Landing in Potomac Falls, VA, provide progressive levels of care. As you grow older and need more support, you can easily transition from one level. Choosing a Life Plan Community gives you peace of mind that your needs will be met throughout each stage of life. Life Plan Communities also empower you to make long-term decisions about your care now rather than in the future, when it may be more difficult to decide due to an urgent need for care or your health.

Common Levels of Care

A general senior living community may only offer one or a few levels of care, while Life Plan Communities tend to provide progressive care levels to fully meet the needs of older adults. Understanding the differences between these levels of care is key to choosing the community that is right for you, so we put together this guide that demystifies those terms and explains the key differences between them. Let’s examine these levels of care one by one.

Independent Living

Independent Living is the entry level of care designed for those who want to stay active and live life to the fullest surrounded by a community of like-minded people. They don’t require assistance to perform daily living tasks but like the idea of knowing help is close by in an emergency. At Falcons Landing, our Independent Living options include elegantly appointed cottages, apartments and terrace homes surrounded by beautiful grounds.

The word independent perfectly captures the freedom that life in our community provides. Residents can choose from three restaurants for meals, use our state-of-the-art fitness center any time of day and enjoy a full slate of activities that are in line with their interests, all while living in a secure gated community that delivers luxurious amenities.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living care is ideal for those who need a little extra help during the day but still want to retain as much independence as possible. Our team at Falcon’s Landing is there to lend a hand with things like dressing, grooming or managing medications as needed, and licensed nurses and nursing assistants are on-site 24/7 to quickly respond to emergency medical needs.

Accommodations for Assisted Living residents consist of private apartments for one person or a couple, and gourmet meals are on the menu three times per day in our dining room. We provide a custom-tailored recreational program aligned with each resident’s goals and offer daily events, ensuring there’s always something new to learn, do or experience.

Memory Care

Memory Care provides a safe, secure and nurturing environment for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Residents of Memory Care communities receive close monitoring from team members but are still encouraged to be as independent as possible, and planned activities take place throughout the day to meet the physical, emotional and social needs of residents. We recently opened a brand new Memory Care neighborhood at Falcons Landing called Hillside House, providing residents with cozy private rooms in a modern building.

Skilled Nursing

For seniors who need ongoing care and medical attention throughout the day, Skilled Nursing care is an excellent fit. Our Skilled Nursing community is home to elegant rooms featuring bay windows, crown molding, new furnishings and a private en-suite bathroom. Licensed nurses and certified nursing assistants are on-site 24 hours per day to deliver personalized care for all residents.

Short-Term Rehab

Short-Term Rehab care is for seniors who are recovering from a procedure or illness and need extra support while they heal. U.S. News and World Report named Falcons Landing the Best Nursing Home for Short-Term Rehabilitation in 2024, thanks to our unique approach to care. For each of our short-term residents, we develop a fully personalized plan of care based on their physical needs and personal preferences, with the ultimate goal of getting them back on their feet and ready to live independently again as soon as possible.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

Some CCRCs are founded with a particular mission and put in place additional eligibility requirements for prospective residents as a result. At Falcons Landing, our story begins with a group of retired Air Force officers who wanted to create a military retirement community in the 1980s.  Our Independent Living community is open to all former military personnel and qualified former government employees, regardless of rank, with a minimum of four years of service, to include their spouse or surviving spouse. If you are looking for short-term rehab, long-term care, assisted living or memory care, no military or government background is required.

Experience Life at Falcons Landing

Falcons Landing is proud to be an award-winning, not-for-profit CARF-accredited Life Plan Community, recognized as a U.S. News & World Report Best Continuing Care Retirement Community and Independent Living for 2024, and recognized as a Newsweek America's Best Senior Living Communities for 2024. Our team is fully committed to providing exceptional care across all levels to give back to those who served our country. We’d love the opportunity to tell you more about life at Falcons Landing and show how our amenities, activities and world-class dining options can help you enjoy the good life while allowing you to age in place surrounded by a supportive community made up of friendly neighbors. Contact us today to schedule a tour and learn more.

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