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.

High Ridge

What Is Normal Aging vs. Memory Loss?

In the United States, 6.2 million people ages 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, just one of the various types of dementia and memory loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Are you or a loved one among those who could have memory loss, or do the signs point to normal aging?

While it can be difficult to tell, there are some indications that you may be dealing with one over the other. We’re here to share these signs with you so you can better evaluate whether it’s time to reach out to a doctor for help or a medical diagnosis.

Signs of Normal Aging vs. Signs of Memory Loss


It’s normal to forget a name, an appointment, what day it is, or what you walked into a room for. Often, it’s a short-lived lapse, with the information coming to your mind soon afterward. Usually when this occurs, it isn’t a cause for concern.

It does, however, become a concern when forgetfulness and memory loss impact daily life. Those with memory loss may find themselves forgetting the names of close friends and family, forgetting recent events, or asking the same questions repeatedly. If you notice any of these signs, it could be that memory loss, not normal aging, is the problem.

Difficulty completing familiar daily tasks

For those who are experiencing signs of normal aging, you may find that you’re less able to manage multiple tasks. This can be especially true when you’re distracted or overwhelmed.

If you find that you’re no longer able to complete familiar tasks, are unable to pay bills, tasks are taking you much longer, or you need more help or reminders, you could be experiencing memory loss.

Language changes

Everyone has trouble finding the right words from time to time. In fact, if something is just on the tip of your tongue and eventually comes to you, it’s likely normal.

Those with memory loss, however, may say things like “bed” instead of “table,” or “arm clock” instead of “wristwatch,” and may mix up their words frequently. Those with memory loss may also find that it’s hard to follow or join conversations.

Misplacing items

Do you find yourself misplacing items but quickly being able to retrace your steps to find them? That’s a good sign you’re dealing with normal aging. Those who are unable to do so, or who are putting objects in unusual places frequently – like the telephone in the fridge – may be dealing with memory loss.

Getting lost

Many people tend to temporarily forget a destination, or they may need a moment to pause to think about directions. Despite this, they get right back on track with their destination certain.

Those with memory loss may easily get lost while walking or driving in a familiar area, sometimes leaving them in dangerous situations. Getting home may take them even longer, as well. If this is becoming something you’re frequently noticing, it might be time to discuss whether it’s safe to drive or if it’s time to hang up the keys.

What To Do if You Suspect You or a Loved One Has Memory Loss

If you feel like yourself or a loved one is experiencing memory problems that aren’t a normal part of aging, or if you think either of you could be dealing with early signs of dementia, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. They can help you evaluate whether it’s normal aging or dementia.

In the meantime, it can also help to reduce risk factors and enhance brain health. This is true whether you’re dealing with memory loss or simply want to lower your chances of dementia in the future.

According to the CDC, some of the things you can do include quitting smoking, maintaining healthy blood pressure, managing high blood pressure, getting exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, aiming for better sleep, remaining involved and engaged in life, and managing blood sugar.

Can Other Conditions Cause Memory Loss?

A doctor can help you determine whether you or a loved one may be dealing with side effects from another condition. The CDC states that some conditions can cause memory loss or dementia-like symptoms to occur in older adults, including vitamin B12 deficiency, hypothyroidism, infections, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and certain prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines.

If It’s Memory Loss, What Should the Next Steps Be?

Family members and people with dementia or memory loss should begin planning for the future. Hold a family meeting, begin talking about care options, discuss care preferences, settle any legal matters that need to be taken care of, gather knowledge on the condition, and focus on treating and managing symptoms.


If you or a loved one is dealing with memory loss, contact our team. We are here to provide support, care and resources to make this time easier. To learn more or schedule a visit, contact us 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.

High Ridge

Benefits of Early Detection of Memory Loss

It’s a difficult topic for anyone to think about, but if you suspect you or a loved one might be suffering from early memory loss, action is far better than inaction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 90% of Americans say that if they were exhibiting confusion and memory loss, they would want to know if the cause of the symptoms was Alzheimer’s disease. Yet more than half of those over age 45 with subjective cognitive decline have not talked with a healthcare provider about dementia-like symptoms.

It’s completely valid and understandable to experience fear and apprehension surrounding a potential diagnosis. However, by taking steps toward detecting and diagnosing memory loss early, you can gain peace of mind as you plan for the future and start any possible treatment. Detecting memory loss early can enable you to honor the wishes of family members as you all navigate the journey of a diagnosis of dementia.

Signs It Might Be Time for a Screening

Early stages of memory loss can look different in different people. The below list is a good starting point about determining if it may be time for a screening with a physician.

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Increasing confusion with time or place
  • Trouble with vision or spatial orientation
  • Problems with communication 
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Changes in mood or personality

Remember, memory problems do not automatically indicate a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. There are types of memory loss that are part of aging. It is a necessary first step to work with a physician to find out if memory challenges are truly related to dementia in order to plan for the future. 

The Benefits of Detecting Memory Loss Early

Should your screening indicate an early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, you may feel sadness, anger, frustration or despair. The below guidance shows the benefits of this knowledge of early detection and will help individuals and their families as the disease progresses.

Getting to know the road map of what comes next.

Early detection means you’re in a place to learn what is going to come next. While people with dementia can have vastly different types of disease and experiences, there are certain changes you can plan for and make decisions now about how you want your experience of living with dementia to progress. Trust your medical professionals to help you understand the progression of the disease and what may come next.

Medical benefits and treatment options.

Research is being done constantly for various neurodegenerative diseases. With an early diagnosis, you can work with your physician to see what treatment options or clinical trials are currently available and if there are any medications that could be helpful in slowing disease progression. Treatments typically respond better in earlier stages of the disease.

Additionally, this would be an ideal time to make any positive lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure, exercising, and staying socially active.

Social and emotional support.

Being diagnosed with dementia can be incredibly overwhelming for the individual and family alike. Fortunately, there are copious resources available for education and encouragement as you navigate this new territory. Maybe that means joining a support group, being more intentional about documenting memories and sharing stories, or even taking that “bucket list” trip. Perhaps it means sharing the diagnosis with friends and family on your own terms, before changes start to happen in your life.  

Many people have walked in your shoes before – lean on the experience of others and the many resources available to help guide you. If you are looking for resources and support, the Senior Advisor at our community would be happy to share more about our monthly educational sessions and support groups held on Zoom, as well as other community services that can help you in your journey.

Planning for the future.

Early diagnosis allows for the individual to discuss their wishes for each stage of the disease. They can be part of the legal, financial and end-of-life decision-making; designating powers of attorney; creating a living will; and indicating medical care preferences. These important conversations ultimately reduce the weight on family members and allow them to plan for the quality of life desired for their loved one.

In your conversations, you might decide that caring for your loved one at home would be too difficult, so it’s a good idea to research your options together. Many senior living communities, like Waterstone on High Ridge, provide services to ensure your loved one is cared for during every step of their journey. Our expert memory care at Waterstone on High Ridge is supported by the experts at Bridges by EPOCH and features dedicated support and unique programs within a thoughtfully designed household. To learn more about the benefits of early detection, or to schedule a visit to experience our lifestyle, contact us 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.