New “Nursing Homes” for a New Generation of Adults

According to the last U.S. census in 2010, there are around 35 million people over the age of 65 and 3.9 million over the age of 85. That number is projected to double over the next 20 years. Baby Boomers are living longer and that will result in more than 70 million people moving into the 65+ demographic.

Today’s Baby Boomers are working longer than most previous generations. They live more active lives filled with new experiences and productivity. When the time comes to consider moving into an environment that offers assistance and comfort, it is important for them to find an option that supports their dynamic lifestyle.

This increased need for modern independent living communities has changed the landscape of the senior living industry making “nursing homes” a term of the past. No longer are these communities primarily focused on care when health deteriorates; now, senior living communities promote overall health and wellness with social, mental and physical programs during every stage of the aging process, in addition to providing hands-on assistance when needed.

Independent Living

Two senior women drinking tea during the afternoon

Independent living is exactly what it sounds like; the independence for people to live the life they desire. In a retirement community, you get to choose what style of residence you want to live in, the amount of assistance you desire and what programs you would like to participate in. Terms such as “nursing home” can be off-putting and illustrate an unfavorable way of life. Independent living is the exact opposite; it offers endless possibilities and presents an opportunity for inspired anticipation.

Independent living communities offer all the freedom of a private home or apartment without the responsibilities of home maintenance or upkeep. Consider a one- or two-bedroom apartment with a balcony or patio to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors with family and friends. Not only do you have a beautiful space to call home, but you can also enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle with endless social opportunities.

Do you like to cook, or would you prefer dining at a five-star establishment? With independent living, you have the flexibility to dine on your own schedule and at your own leisure. Many independent living communities have numerous dining options available on campus, in addition to a full kitchen in each home or apartment. Depending on the community, residents may also have a dining allowance that they choose to use in any way they desire.

Entertainment and socializing are engrained in the heart of independent living. The freedom to come and go with transportation options makes it possible to explore what your community and surrounding area has to offer.

Some communities even offer access to a gym or pool, which can help keep a resident’s strength and agility at peak performance. Need a haircut or a new hairdo? Barbershop and hairdressing services are also frequently available in an independent living setting. Make sure to check out the community’s list of amenities and services during your search, or schedule a visit to see everything the community has to offer for yourself!

Safety is always a top priority at an independent living community, and if an emergency arises, help is available 24/7 with emergency call services. All this and more make a perfect recipe for peace of mind in the pursuit of exceptional lives.

Nursing Care, a.k.a. Skilled Nursing

The variety and shear number of senior living options that are available today were not easily accessible for previous generations. Whether aging at home or with family members, when older adults’ wellness needs became too demanding, and they couldn’t live on their own, they often had to go to a nursing home for specialized care. This process left an impression on numerous generations associating nursing homes with negative feelings of getting older.

According to the National Council on Aging, “nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, provide a wide range of health and personal care services.” Skilled nursing communities are ideally a temporary solution to help individuals regain their previous level of health and mobility, so they can return to their permanent residence. For some, this extra level of care may be the result of an injury, illness, hospitalization or surgery.

The majority of people who go to a skilled nursing center are there because they are no longer able to care for themselves due to physical and/or mental deficiencies. They require more care than their family is able to provide, or they have no family to assist them. As a result, 24/7 care is provided and includes visits from doctors, dentists and other healthcare providers. In some cases, patients are taken to visit the provider, and, in others, the providers visit the patient.

In a skilled nursing community, meals and help with everyday activities are all provided. Residents may be in a private room or it may be a shared room. Telephones and TVs may be provided in the rooms. Meals are set at designated times with menu options published ahead of time. Residents are encouraged to dine in the dining venue with other residents but can opt to dine in their rooms. Some residents may need to have assistance in eating and are provided a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Many programs are provided for residents, including picnics to which family members are invited, games, such as bingo, and other social events. Typically, there is a program director on staff to make sure that skilled nursing residents have something that they can enjoy and participate in every day.

Unfortunately, many people directly associate the aging process with nursing homes; however, there are many senior living options that exist in addition to nursing care. Let’s explore these together.

Assisted Living

Assisted living offers much of the freedom of independent living but provides a greater amount of assistance from skilled staff. This is a great way to retain independence while still receiving the physical attention you need.

Depending on the needs of the resident, assistance may be provided with transitioning from bed to a chair or with dressing; but the key word here is assistance. This level does not provide skilled nursing or 24/7 care.

Memory Support Neighborhoods

Dementia and Alzheimer’s can steal a person’s memories as they age. Living in a homelike atmosphere with skilled team members who understand their condition can make all the difference. Having a place where families are included and encouraged to interact by sharing memories with residents makes all the difference. A supportive living environment helps to bring joy to both the residents and their families.

Homestead at Hamilton

Homestead at Hamilton in New Jersey is a one of a kind rental community that can help you live your best life. Our wellness philosophy combines well-being and health so that you can thrive in your environment – no matter what living option you choose. We offer you programs that are designed to help you make the most of your life. No matter what you prefer, you will find it here with our spiritual, intellectual, physical and social opportunities.

In many independent living spaces, you have room to entertain overnight guests with a full kitchen that includes stainless steel appliances and stone countertops. Assisted living units have a kitchenette with refrigerator and microwave to allow for maximum independence. In memory care, instead of a room shared with a stranger, having a studio with a private bathroom and kitchenette allows for the greatest amount of independence possible while providing 24-hour security, healthcare and emergency response. If you aren’t as interested in cooking, there are dining options on-site.

Whether you choose between fine dining or casual dining, dining is on your schedule, not ours, and our chefs are committed to providing healthy and delicious cuisine. The menu may include steak, fish or vegetarian options and is continually changing.

Within independent living spaces, you can do your laundry without ever leaving your apartment and you have an individual thermostat so you can control the temperature of your living and sleeping environment.

All utilities, except telephone services, are included in your monthly rent as well as weekly housekeeping services. All you need to worry about is what you will be doing today. Will you be visiting the art studio, taking an educational class, listening to a lecture, going to a movie, meeting with friends at the pub or going out to do some shopping? Don’t want to leave the comforts of home? Barbershop and hairdressing services are located on-site, as well as a gym.

Whichever living option you choose, you can still rest comfortably knowing that we are only steps away. If at some point you do need assistance in your daily life, we will be there to provide it. Homestead at Hamilton can be the perfect home for you. Contact us to learn more today.


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