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Retirement homes are privately owned rental accommodations for seniors who are able to manage and pay for their own care. Retirement homes are also called retirement residences. Each state licensing agency has its own definition of the term it uses to describe assisted living. A nursing home, convalescent home, Skilled Nursing Unit, care home or rest home provides a specific type of care for its residents. Assisted living emerged in the 1990s as an eldercare alternative on the continuum of care for seniors for whom Independent living is no longer appropriate but who do not need the 24-hour medical care provided by a nursing home. A retirement home differs from a nursing home primarily in the level of medical care given. Staff is available twenty-four hours a day. Assisted living is a philosophy of care and services promoting independence and dignity. Senior Living - info and advice for older adults. Retirement villages and retirement communities, unlike retirement homes, offer separate and autonomous homes for residents. Independent living is a general name for any housing arrangement designed exclusively for seniors. Assistance may include the administration or supervision of medication, or personal care services provided by a trained staff person. Assisted living residences or assisted living facilities provide supervision or assistance with monitoring of resident activities to help to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. The usual retirement home pattern is that each person or couple in the home has an apartment-style room or suite of rooms. The housing is friendlier to older adults, more compact, with easier navigation and assistance in outside maintenance.

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