Senior Living Options

African violetWithin the six distinct types, there are 150+ senior communities overall in the Eugene/Springfield, Oregon area. Selecting the single best choice for you or your loved one, when living at home may no longer be an option, can be a daunting task. It is important to first identify which is the appropriate type of senior living community that will meet your needs or that of your senior loved one.  Then, within that group, pinpoint the best fit based on personal care needs, preferences, and desires.

The mission of A Home to Fit You is to educate you as to the different types of senior living options and through conducting a thorough assessment of the care needs and lifestyle preferences, recommend  and accompany you to several communities that fit the identified emotional, physical, social, and financial needs.  I’ll guide you in the decision-making process as you choose the one community that best matches these specifications. And I’ll be with you through the move transition and beyond!

There are six different types of senior living communities:

Let’s get started!


Independent Living

These are typically apartments or condominiums that are exclusive to seniors of a minimum age.  They offer one to three daily meals, weekly cleaning services, group amenities such as clubhouses or community rooms, laundry rooms, recreation and planned socials, and transportation to medical appointments and shopping.  Residents are active, mobile (canes and walkers are usually fine), and interested in peer group interaction and socializing.  Most of them operate on a monthly rental basis and have several apartment models.

  • One to three meals a day
  • Weekly room cleaning
  • Social activities offered
  • Bus transportation (on scheduled days) for shopping and medical appointments
  • Private paid caregivers available for additional fee through an agency that is not part of the facility, but sometimes contracts with the facility
  • Price is based on room size
  • Takes only private pay

Appropriate for a person who:

  • Is physically and cognitively able to take care of him or herself and enjoys the company of like-minded people
  • Is independent yet needs help with housekeeping, cooking, and transportation
  • Uses a cane or a walker
  • Has some physical decline but is cognitively intact and can safely manage with a few hours a week of private hired help

Not appropriate for a person who:

  • Is experiencing decline of physical and/or cognitive status and is expected to continue to decline in the very near future
  • Uses a wheelchair and needs help during the day or night with personal care or medication administration

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Assisted Living Community (ALF)

These offer a private apartment with a kitchenette, private bathroom, and a weekly cleaning service.  In addition they offer 24/7 caregiver help with activities of daily living (ADL) such as dressing, bathing, toileting.  They have an RN on site and provide medication administration. They offer varied social activities and transportation to medical appointments or to social outings.  They operate on a monthly rental basis and their charges vary, based on the apartment size and the level of care needed.

  • 24/7 caregiver through three shifts, including night time
  • Usually four to six caregivers during day shifts and two caregivers at night for 70-85 residents
  • Medication administration
  • Private room with a bathroom and a small kitchenette
  • Three meals a day
  • Weekly housekeeping provided
  • Social activities offered
  • A nurse on site during the day and on call 24/7
  • Price based on room size and level of care
  • Private pay and Medicaid accepted (However, since they take only a limited number of Medicaid residents, in a good facility, there is always a waiting list.)
  • Caregiver/residents ratio 1:15

Appropriate for a person who:

  • Is independent yet needs help with housekeeping, cooking, and transportation
  • Has declined in physical status and/or mildly in cognitive status
  • Needs help with dressing, bathing, toileting, and/or medication administration
  • Uses a walker or wheelchair, including a power chair
  • Requires night-time care
  • Enjoys social activities

Not appropriate for a person with:

  • Poor memory or poor safety awareness
  • Progressive dementia, with or without behavior problems
  • Poor safety awareness and a history of falls
  • Risk for wandering

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Adult Foster Home (AFH)

A community located in a family home that accepts up to five elderly or disabled residents. They offer a private or semi-private bedroom and a shared bathroom.  They provide 24/7 caregiver help with all ADL, medication administration, three home-style cooked meals, and all household chores but very few structured social activities.

  • A home-like setting with no more than five residents
  • 24-hour live-in caregiver; one-two caregivers during the day
  • Caregiver sleeps at night and is not expected to provide care at night except in the case of an emergency
  • Medication administration
  • Private or semi-private (less common) rooms with shared bathrooms
  • All meals and housekeeping provided
  • Pay is based on level of care
  • Limited organized social activities
  • No nurse on site
  • Caregiver/residents ratio 1:5

Appropriate for a person who:

  • Has declined in physical and/or cognitive status
  • Needs help with dressing, bathing, toileting, and medication administration
  • Has poor safety awareness or a history of falls
  • Has mild dementia without behavior problems
  • Uses a walker (Some AFHs can take wheelchairs, including power chairs. Level 3 AFH will take a hoyer lift.)

Not appropriate for a person who:

  • Needs night-time care
  • Has dementia with behavior problems
  • Is at risk of wandering

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Residential Care Facility (RCF)

A community of up to 15 residents; some RCFs are composed of a few houses, with 12-15 residents in each (referred to as communities or neighborhoods).  They offer private or semi-private rooms and shared bathrooms, cleaning services, and laundry.  They offer an RN on site and 24/7 caregivers who provide personal care (ADL), medication administration, daily meals, and social activities.

  • Smaller facility with 12-15 residents (may have a few houses each with 12-15 residents)
  • 24/7 caregivers through three shifts, including night time. Most facilities have one-two caregivers during day shifts and one caregiver at night
  • Medication administration
  • Private and semi private rooms, shared bathrooms
  • Three meals a day
  • Housekeeping provided
  • Social activities offered
  • Nurse on site during the day and 24/7 on call
  • Price is based on type of room and level of care
  • Some take only private pay and some take private pay and Medicaid. However, since they take only a limited number of Medicaid residents, in a good facility, there is always a waiting list.
  • Caregiver/residents ratio 1:8-15
  • Most RCFs have at least one house that is designated for people with advanced dementia/Alzheimer’s (see Memory Care)

Appropriate for a person who:

  • Has declined in physical and/or cognitive status
  • Needs help with dressing, bathing, toileting, and medication administration
  • Has mild dementia without behavior problems
  • Uses a walker or a wheelchair, including power chair or hoyer lift
  • Needs night-time care
  • Enjoys social activities

Not appropriate for a person with:

  • Dementia and behavior problems
  • Poor safety awareness or a history of falls
  • Risk of wandering

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Memory Care Facility

These facilities include a secure environment, trained staff, and special programs designed for the particular needs of Alzheimer’s and other memory-related disorders.  They offer private or semi-private rooms and shared bathrooms with cleaning services and laundry. They offer an RN on site and 24/7 caregivers who provide personal care (ADL), medication administration, daily meals, and social activities.

  • Locked facility
  • Smaller facility with 12-15 residents (may have few houses, each have 12-15 residents)
  • 24/7 caregiver through three shifts, including night time
  • Medication administration
  • Private or semi private room, shared bathrooms
  • Three meals a day
  • Housekeeping provided
  • Social activities offered
  • Nurse on site during the day, and 24/7 on call
  • Price is based on level of care and room (private or semi private)
  • Some take only private pay and some take Medicaid as well. However, since they take only a limited number of Medicaid residents, in a good facility, there is always a waiting list.
  • Caregiver/residents ratio 1: 8-15

Appropriate for a person who:

  • Has mild dementia that is quickly progressing
  • Has progressive dementia with or without behavior problems
  • Needs the help of two caregivers at a time
  • Has dementia and needs help with hoyer lift
  • Is at risk of wandering

Not appropriate for a person who:

  • Needs ongoing or complicated medical care by a nurse and/or a doctor
  • Has severe, inappropriate or difficult to manage behavior issues

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Nursing Home

A nurse is on duty at all times and a doctor visits once or twice a week. These facilities offer shared rooms and shared bathrooms, cleaning services, and laundry. There are round-the-clock caregivers who provide personal care (ADL), medication administration, daily meals, and social activities.  A nursing home is the best option when the level of care is heavy and may require more than one person to assist at all times, or when there are medical conditions that require the attention of a nurse and a doctor on a regular basis.

  • 24/7 caregiver through three shifts, including night time
  • Medication administration
  • Semi-private room, shared bathrooms
  • Three meals a day
  • Housekeeping provided
  • Social activities offered
  • Nurse on site 24/7
  • Doctor on site at least once a week
  • Price is based on level of care
  • Takes private pay and Medicaid

Appropriate for a person who

  • Has progressive dementia with or without behavior problems
  • Needs the help of two caregivers at a time
  • Uses a walker or wheelchair (including power wheelchair), or who needs help with hoyer lift
  • Needs ongoing medical care by a nurse and/or a doctor

Less recommended for a person who:

  • May be able to manage in one of the other types of communities

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Senior Living Communities
Decision-Making Guide

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“I have complete confidence in Ronit’s commitment to the welfare of her clients.  I never worry at all about how my mom is being cared for thanks to Ronit’s help.”
— Judy Boles