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What Is the Difference Between a Retirement Home vs. A Nursing Home?

Posted on: July 9th, 2021 by hhmin

If you’ve started researching senior living and care options for yourself or someone you love, you’ve probably come across terms like “retirement home” and “nursing home.” At first blush, it might seem there’s little to no difference between nursing homes and retirement homes – and quite often, the two terms are used interchangeably, though not correctly.

In fact, there are several important distinctions between nursing homes and retirement homes. Learning more about retirement homes versus nursing homes and what truly distinguishes the two can help you understand which one is right for you or your family member.

What is a retirement home?

First, it might help to understand what a retirement home is, and how it differs from a nursing home.

A retirement home – more modern terms you might come across are Life Plan Community, retirement community or Continuing Care Retirement Community – is a community that offers older adults multiple levels of living so that each resident can experience purposeful aging in place at their own pace, free from home maintenance, cooking, house cleaning and other responsibilities.

Generally speaking, most older adults initially move into independent living, then as their health needs change over time, they can move seamlessly into assisted living, skilled nursing, long-term care or memory care that’s available on the same campus. Instead of needing multiple moves to other care settings around town, older adults can move within the same retirement community when they need a higher level of care. They’re still close to their spouse and friends, and they’re still receiving the care they need from staff members they know and trust.

Yet when it comes to a retirement home versus a nursing home, a retirement home with independent living offers you much more than care if you need it someday. Independent living at Houston’s Holly Hall, for example, offers people 65 and older an active, vibrant lifestyle they can enjoy today. Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find when you choose independent living at Holly Hall:

  • Private, stand-alone garden cottages or apartments in a range of floor plans; both offer lock-and-leave freedom and no maintenance worries
  • A gated, 20-acre campus that’s peaceful and secure, yet just minutes from all the activities and amenities Houston has to offer
  • An executive chef-managed dining program with flexible, restaurant-style dining, along with private dining and takeout options
  • A monthly calendar full of daily activities, along with numerous on-campus amenities like activities rooms, indoor gardening spaces, game rooms and more
  • A pet-friendly campus with plentiful walking paths and lots of green space to stroll together

Again, this is just a fraction of what a retirement home like Holly Hall offers you.

It may help to think of a retirement home like this: It’s a community that offers most everything residents want and need, right on campus so they can successfully age in place. And one feature of the community is its continuum of care, which often includes skilled nursing care, something you may have heard referred to as long-term care.

What is a nursing home?

A nursing home is a somewhat dated term to describe what are today’s long-term care communities. At a long-term care facility you’ll typically find highly skilled, certified nursing and medical staff members who are able to provide care and extensive assistance with activities of daily living on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week.

Here’s a short list of the long-term care services provided at Holly Hall:

  • On-site medical director
  • Staffing ratios that exceed both state and federal standards
  • Individually focused care plan developed by our certified medical staff
  • Urgent-call system available in every room

As you can see, when comparing the two bulleted lists, there are quite a few differences between a nursing home and a retirement home. Long-term care – or nursing home – is just one of the levels of care you’ll typically find at a retirement community or retirement home. And a retirement community (or home) is the term for the overall, larger community that offers independent living and higher levels of care all on one campus.

You could think of it like this: The retirement community is the hand; long-term care is just one of the fingers that make up the hand.

What are the other levels of care?

Continuing with the hand analogy above, the other fingers on the hand, or levels of living, that you’ll find at Holly Hall are as follows:

Independent living – for active older adults who want to continue to enjoy their independent lifestyles in a community setting without the hassles of home maintenance, cooking, cleaning, etc.

Assisted living – for older adults who may need a bit of assistance with activities of daily living

Cognitive support – for those with some type of cognitive decline, memory care support helps them with their day to day and enhances their quality of life

Respite care – ideal for caregivers who need a break from their caregiver responsibilities

Health services and rehabilitation – this include short- and long-term care, rehab and extended stays

There are many stand-alone independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care communities all across the Houston area. If you need a hand in determining which might be the best choice for yourself or someone you love, we’re here to help.

Trust Holly Hall’s senior living experts to help you find the right fit

You might be just starting your research into retirement homes for yourself. Or you may need to find the right nursing home setting for a spouse or parent. Maybe you may still have questions about retirement homes versus nursing homes. Whatever your need, we’re here to help you. At Holly Hall, we welcome the opportunity to assist you. Please contact us whenever you’d like to start the conversation.

The Importance of Socialization in a Retirement Community

Posted on: March 26th, 2018 by hhmin

Retirement Home SocializationEven though getting older naturally means that parts of our lives slow down, socialization is one thing that you and your family can help your loved one keep up to par.

Many of us take for granted our current friendships and constant interaction with the world around us. When you stop, think, and take a step back, you will realize that socialization is what keeps our minds sharp. This is exactly why it is important for you to encourage socialization with your loved one in a retirement community.

Why is Social Isolation a Risk Among Seniors?

Social isolation among the elderly demographic is something that has a serious impact on this group’s health. With age, health conditions deteriorate, the body becomes substantially less mobile, and these issues contribute to someone being less social than they once were.

Social isolation is a direct cause of several problems with loved ones living out their Golden Years. These problems include:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Decreased physical and emotional health
  3. Depression

Not surprisingly, all of these factors lead to the ultimate negative: a poor quality of life leading into a greater risk of death.

3 Benefits of Being Socially Active in a Retirement Community

Not only can you keep your loved one’s blood pressure under control, but there are several other benefits to encouraging social activity on a regular basis.

1. Raised Self-Esteem

Some seniors struggle with self-esteem issues. Socialization brings about a sense of community and belonging that directly results in higher self-esteem.

2. Mental and Physical Health Improves

Where loneliness can become feelings of despair and longing for interaction, socialization makes your loved one feel exactly that–like a loved one. This is a great way to keep mental health intact and encourage activities that make the mind sharp.

Physical health improves because when positive interaction occurs like good conversation, the body releases natural chemicals that help to improve the immune system.

3. Sense of Community and Belonging

Having interaction with one’s family does a lot to improve health but having a community does wonders for giving your loved one a sense of home in a retirement community. Having their own friends and private conversations help to form a place in what may be a trying point in their life.

Holly Hall Retirement Community Offers a Social Life for Your Loved One

Growing older can be a challenge for everyone and it is important that every aspect of your loved one’s life is taken care of well. At Holly Hall Retirement Community, we have a Christian background that helps our community members overcome the challenges of age with our different levels of care.

If you are looking for the right fit in communities for your loved one, we offer independent living, assisted living, and healthcare living. Get in touch with us today to schedule a tour or have one of our team members answer any questions you may have. At Holly Hall, your loved one is not just a community member, but a part of our family.

What to Look for in an Assisted Living Community

Posted on: May 14th, 2016 by hhmin

How To Choose Independent Living Facility In HoustonLooking for the ideal assisted living community for you or your loved one is a big decision. No matter where you live, there are more than a handful of communities from which to choose. But, choosing the right one to meet your needs is what counts. To do so, it is imperative that you pay attention to the community’s features and make them a part of your deciding factor.

What Your Retirement Home Needs

If you are on the hunt for the perfect local assisted living community home for yourself or for your parents/family member, here are four things you should pay attention to when selecting a home.

Great Location and Size

Like any place you live, you want the location to be good. Determining whether you want to live closer or further apart to your family should be the first thing you consider. Also, think about if you prefer a local community or one in a popular retirement city like Florida.

At the same time, you want to think about the size of the community in which you would like to reside in. Do you prefer a small community that makes it easier to build personal relationships or a larger one that gives you a bit more independence? All are factors you need to take into consideration.

Fun Activities and Amenities

The great part about living in an assisted living home is being able to socialize with other people in your age group. During your downtime, you want to have the liberty to partake in leisure activities and events. This is why it is important to think about the listed activities and amenities for the retirement home. If you like to knit, ask about those types of activities. If you like swimming, make sure the community has a swimming pool available.

Good Accessibility

Along with the location, pay attention to the accessibility of the community. Is the retirement community hard to navigate through? Would walking to the different amenities you would frequent be easy? Also, look at the amount of ramps available. Are thoroughly located around the retirement home?

Happy Assisted Living Residents and Faculty

The facility’s faculty and residents will play a huge part in the experience you have at your new retirement home. When you tour, look at the how the faculty and the residents interact and communicate. Don’t be afraid to ask the residents for their opinion of the community, too. By getting a good feel of the people that live and work at the home, you will be able to make a more educated decision on which is the best choice for you.

Tour Our Beautiful Retirement Home in Houston

Are you looking for the ideal assisted living facility in Houston? We want to invite you to visit our beautiful facility at Holly Hall Retirement Community.  As Houston’s premier retirement community, we are built on Christian values and are committed to making our residents feel right at home. With three different levels of care available, you are sure to see why our residents love the Holly Hall community.

To schedule a tour of the facilities or to get more information, contact Holly Hall Retirement Community.