Learn about the variety of living options and which one might be best for you or your loved ones.


Whether it’s time to make the move to a senior community to ease the stress and isolation of living alone, or you’ve received a physician’s directive and your family has made the difficult decision to explore available local senior housing, you are confronted with a myriad of options ranging from round-the-clock 24/7 hour care to independent living where you or a loved one can come and go as they please. With that being said, there are a considerable number of financial concerns that you will need to address while balancing the decision on what the best living arrangement is for you or your loved one.


Independent Living refers to living in a community with other “like-minded” seniors who tend to be more active, independent, and want to downsize to a simpler way of life. They may choose a smaller home or private apartment in a senior community that’s best suited to their individual needs. The goal is to maintain their lifestyle with fewer obligations. One of the greatest benefits of Independent Living is the opportunity to socialize and make new friends. Meals, laundry, housekeeping, and some medication management may be provided or are optional. Independent Living provides another option for someone to age in place; with care assistance readily available (in some communities) should one need it in the future. Extra amenities may include: Hair and nail salon, fitness center, pool, jacuzzi, library, club meeting room, arts and crafts, educational, social, and recreational activities, and transportation to shopping centers, day trips, and scheduled physician visits, fostering a greater sense of community among residents.


Assisted Living Communities cater to seniors who are otherwise independent but may have some daily care needs such as showering, personal hygiene, and dressing, etc. By the same token, if a resident is frail and requires a higher level of care, there is an assisted living facility that will accommodate those needs. Some also have secure Memory Care Units within their communities that meet the specialized needs of residents with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Meals, housekeeping, and laundry services are provided as well. Some assisted living facilities may also provide transportation to physician’s offices, group shopping outings or offsite events. Some facilities feature first-rate amenities, such as a swimming pool, jacuzzi, exercise facility, and daily social activities. Living quarters can range from private and shared studios to two bedroom apartments. Larger assisted living communities can include many “extra” amenities, but typically at a higher cost and can be more difficult to afford. Assisted Living has a philosophy that honors the resident’s independence, i.e. “we will help you take care of yourself” over “we will take care of you.”


Board and Care communities are typically care homes in a residential neighborhood setting, and often cater to a smaller number of residents. These homes often provide a greater level of hands-on care, from caregivers or certified nurse assistants, and are ideal for those with greater care needs. Caregivers help residents with personal hygiene, showering, grooming, dressing and toileting needs. Some facilities can accommodate memory care needs, as well as, hospice patients. These smaller home settings typically include meals, housekeeping, laundry, medication management, help with activities of daily living, exercise classes, and include a limited number of social activities. Private bedrooms and shared bedrooms with private or shared bathrooms are available. They can be less expensive and provide more personalized care in a “family” atmosphere than a larger assisted living facility.


The purpose of In-Home care is to cater to those seniors who want and are able to stay in their home and age in place. Being in a familiar environment, the family home can be a great source of comfort and peace of mind. In-home care is provided by a licensed caregiver who comes into the home and provides personal care services a senior can no longer do for themselves. A caregiver can also provide companionship, manage medications, shop for groceries, prepare meals, do laundry, change bed linens, and some general housekeeping. The level of care and services is based on each individual’s needs. If the needs are low level, and hours are not high, it can be a good option for those on a limited budget. However, if round-the-clock care is needed 24/7, it can be the most expensive senior living option available.


Memory Care refers to a residential setting designed especially for individuals with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Memory Care is offered to those with varying needs as part of an Assisted Living and some Board and Care Communities. Some larger Assisted Living Facilities can provide special programs designed to slow down the progression of the Alzheimer’s disease if diagnosed early enough. Higher levels of safety and specialized care will be required as the disease progresses to a point where the family or caregiver can no longer adequately accommodate their loved one’s memory care needs at home. The cost will typically be higher for this type of care as needs change.


Respite Care offers temporary residence in an assisted living or board and care community providing assistance with a senior’s activities of daily living, while the primary caregiver takes a much needed break or goes on vacation. Respite care can also address short-term care needs, or out-patient rehab services in a supervised setting before returning home.


We currently provide senior placement services for residents to the following areas in San Diego County: Scripps Ranch, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, 4S Ranch, Escondido, Fallbrook, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Del Mar, Carmel Valley and University City. On occasion, we may be able to help you find a new senior community in other areas of San Diego County as well.

PHONE: 858-395-3333    FAX: 858-724-3348

Contact Next Step Senior Care Placement today for a free consultation on how we can guide you in taking your "next step" to find the perfect senior living solution for you or a loved one's needs!