Assisted Living vs. Continuing Care
Retirement Communities

One of the most common questions people ask is, “What’s the difference between assisted living and continuing care retirement communities?” We at Homestead at Hamilton are happy to share our knowledge about the similarities, and differences, between these two types of communities.

Independent and Assisted Living

Independent living communities are exactly that: they provide independent living arrangements, like apartments or townhomes, with few additional services like lawn care and utilities.

Assisted living communities provide a range of intermediate services that make aging easier and help residents maintain independence for longer. These services are usually customizable, so residents can choose the services they need and pay for only what they use. Common services and amenities available in assisted living communities include:

  • Dining options, like room service or restaurant-style dining
  • Building or community security
  • An emergency response system for medical emergencies
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Transportation to and from local businesses
  • Life enrichment and social opportunities
  • Opportunities to maintain and improve physical fitness and wellness
  • Utilities like garbage, water, sewer, cable, internet and electric
  • Home maintenance services
  • Snow removal and landscaping services

Additionally, assisted living communities often offer some personal assistance at home, such as help with medication setup or administration, treatments and personal care.

Independent and assisted living communities generally focus on providing the right environment to thrive in the later years of life with as little assistance and as much independence and enrichment as possible. Homestead at Hamilton offers both independent and assisted living services, as well as memory care.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) address the aging process by providing several levels of care in a single setting. The goal is to limit the number of moves throughout the aging process by providing all of the following in the same setting: independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and hospice care.

Adults can enter a CCRC when they are healthy and able to live independently, taking advantage of dining options, home maintenance and landscaping, which allows them to spend more time enjoying retirement, family and friends. As their needs changes over time and they require more assistance, they can change tiers at a cost and increase the services they receive to accommodate their changing needs.

What Community Type is Right for Me?

No single community is the best solution for everybody. Aging is a very personal life experience and no two adults progress through the stages of aging in the same way.

The best way to determine which model is a good fit is to schedule a time to tour local communities to learn more. During your visit, take time to ask questions and speak with residents about their experience. Does the community offer activities and amenities that interest you? If you have a pet, is the community pet-friendly? The more you share about your goals during retirement, your health status and your wishes as you age, the more honest and helpful feedback you’ll receive from each community. No community is a one-size-fits-all, so evaluate each setting against your own expectations, non-negotiables and intuition to make a decision you can stand behind.

To help you make this decision, we at Homestead at Hamilton have put together a workbook with tips for comparing your living options, questions to ask while touring a community, a checklist of services and amenities to consider and much more. Download our resource guide, Navigating Retirement Living Options, here.

To learn more about Homestead, contact us today. Our friendly, caring team will be happy to answer your questions and schedule a time for you to visit our senior living community in Hamilton Township, NJ.


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