High Ridge

Senior Living 101: Understanding the Options

When it comes to senior living, families and older adults have a lot of decisions to make. From figuring out what type of lifestyle is desired to evaluating which care options are needed now or in the future, it can be a time-consuming, sometimes overwhelming journey.

We’re here to give you the knowledge you need to make informed decisions for yourself or your loved one. We will detail the types of senior living available so you can skip the confusion and move forward with confidence.

Navigating Senior Living Options

Below are the main senior living community options you will come across in your search. Learn more about their care and service offerings in our breakdown.

Independent Living

These types of communities are designed for active, mostly self-sufficient seniors looking for a retirement community that offers an enriching lifestyle with dynamic social programs and wellness opportunities. Independent living typically features:

  • Fully equipped, private apartments
  • Chef-prepared meals
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Laundry services
  • Scheduled transportation services
  • Wellness programs
  • Scheduled activities and events
  • A variety of community amenities
  • Potential access to care and support

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities provide a level of personal care for those who need some support with activities of daily living but can still live with a level of independence. They may receive support with dressing, bathing, grooming, eating and more.

This option may be offered within a senior living community or as a stand-alone community. Assisted living usually offers:

  • Private apartments
  • Kitchenettes
  • 24-hour support and customized care plans
  • Three daily meals
  • Basic housekeeping and maintenance
  • Laundry and linen services
  • Medication management
  • Regularly scheduled transportation
  • Activities and entertainment
  • Wellness programming
  • Social opportunities

Memory Care

Those coping with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia benefit from memory care communities. These communities provide those with memory loss with:

  • Specialized support
  • Personalized programming
  • 24-hour supervised care and personal assistance
  • Assistance with meals
  • Medication management
  • Opportunities to connect and engage
  • Planned activities and social programs
  • Wellness programs and exercise classes
  • Housekeeping, linen and laundry services

Additional Senior Living Options

There are some additional senior living options designed for those with specific preferences or needs. Some are aimed at active seniors, while some are designed to provide the dedicated support that’s needed as they age. Find out more about these options below.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities/Life Plan Communities

CCRCs and Life Plan Communities offer a range of levels of care on one campus. Some may offer memory care, as well, though it’s not required.

Unlike independent living rental communities, these options require a long-term financial commitment, with a significant entrance fee and a monthly fee.

Active Adult/55+ Communities

These communities are often age restricted and have been specifically created for active adults. While some may offer access to services and amenities, many do not, making it necessary to cook for yourself, find local programs to engage in, search for your own healthcare, and maintain your own apartment.

Short-Term Rehabilitation

Short-term rehabilitation helps older adults return to their everyday life after illness or injury. This can be either inpatient or outpatient, with services like physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Skilled Nursing Facilities and Long-Term Care Communities

These communities, also often called nursing homes, offer skilled nursing care. They provide 24-hour assistance; access to physical, occupational and speech therapists; and offer some wellness programs and activities.

Home Care and Home Health Services

Home care and home health services allow seniors to receive minor assistance from trained nurses at home. While this can be provided within the senior’s current home, it is also possible to bring these services to an independent living apartment, like some residents at Waterstone on High Ridge do.

Adult Day Programs and Respite Care

These programs offer extra supportive services for those caring for loved ones at home. They also allow those who need support to experience what life at a senior living community is all about.

Discover Waterstone on High Ridge

At Waterstone on High Ridge, residents enjoy the security of independent living, assisted living and dedicated memory care provided by the experts at Bridges® all in one place. Even better, at our luxury rental community, residents experience financial flexibility and can control their assets, while only paying for the care they need as they need it.

This allows them to enjoy their luxury rental apartments, access to first-class amenities on site, an enriching lifestyle, and so much more, all with a carefree lifestyle and unmatched hospitality.


For more information about your options, or to learn more about Waterstone on High Ridge, attend an upcoming event or schedule a visit today.


Waterstone on High Ridge offers a modern approach to senior living in a beautiful hilltop setting. Come see how we redefine independent living, assisted living and memory care in Fairfield County, just minutes away from fine restaurants, retail stores and cultural venues in Stamford and Greenwich.