Private Home Care vs. Community Care: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to senior care, there are many options available. What’s right for one senior may not be appropriate for another. For seniors who want to maintain an active lifestyle, independent living in Bradenton, FL, might be a good idea. Assisted living or home care may be a better option for seniors who require more care.

When researching what type of care is right for you or your loved one, you may have questions about private care vs. community care. Read on to learn more about the differences between the two.

Private Home Care

Private home care involves a caregiver coming to a senior’s home and providing the daily or weekly care they need. Private home care providers schedule their visits around the needs of the seniors. Some caregivers live full-time with seniors who need around-the-clock care. 

Private home care caregivers can provide a range of support, including assistance with:

  • Daily chores
  • Housekeeping
  • Cooking
  • Help with daily hygiene activities
  • Taking medications
  • Transportation

Some private home care providers can even provide specialty services like physical therapy to help seniors recover from an injury or hospital visit. Lastly, private home caregivers can also provide companionship for seniors who live alone.

Community Care

The spectrum of community care is broader than private home care. In general, community care is provided to seniors in a communal or group setting rather than one-on-one in the senior’s home.

Community care varies greatly depending on the particular community. Some communities offer private quarters for seniors with low staff-to-resident ratios, so seniors receive a high level of care with maximum privacy. They may also offer a range of onsite services and amenities for residents.

On the other end of the spectrum, some publicly funded community care facilities have higher staff-to-resident ratios and offer shared living quarters for residents.

Community care facilities benefit from built-in social interaction for residents but may not be appropriate for all seniors.

Major Differences Between Private Home Care and Community Care

Private home care and community care are very different, and both have their benefits and downsides. Seniors and their families should carefully consider all aspects before deciding which type of care is right for them.


Private home care offers the highest level of privacy for seniors as they remain in the comfort of their own homes. Private home care usually involves the assistance of just one caregiver, and seniors have total control over their schedule and the care provided. 

On the other hand, community care facilities do not offer as much privacy, and seniors may have to be more flexible with their daily schedules. 

Caregiver Matching

Generally, private home care providers spend a lot of time finding the right match for a particular senior. The senior and their caregiver must form a trusting relationship. 

In community care settings, caregivers are not generally matched to a particular senior. However, caregivers in community care settings are dedicated professionals who still provide the highest level of care. 

Social Aspect

Private home care provides companionship for seniors, but it does not allow for as much outside socialization with peers. On the other hand, community care settings have built-in opportunities for connection that can be very beneficial to seniors’ mental health.

Find the Right Care with Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

There is no right or wrong answer when comparing private home care vs. community care. Caregiving is a highly personalized service; only seniors and their families can decide what is right for them. 

Regardless of care needs, Florida provides a variety of options for seniors. Whether it is assisted living, in-home care, or independent living in Bradenton, FL, seniors can find a care solution that works for them.

Top Benefits of Yoga for Aging Adults

As we age, regular physical activity is more important than ever. Regular exercise ensures seniors maintain healthy energy levels and keeps chronic disease at bay. 

While it can seem intimidating for older adults, yoga is one of the best forms of exercise for seniors. With proper practice, seniors can improve their flexibility and enhance their strength while getting in a good workout. 

Here are some of the top benefits of yoga for aging adults.

Reduced Stress 

While retirement should be a relaxed and stress-free time in life, that’s not always the case. Changes in family dynamics, financial uncertainty, and adjusting to a new environment can be stressful.

Yoga is an effective way to focus the mind, relax, and exercise at the same time. Yoga involves deep and purposeful breathing along with slow movements, which have been shown to have a relaxing effect.

Stress can be harmful to seniors and cause negative health effects. Yoga can be a good activity to explore if you or your loved one is experiencing stress.

Strengthen Bones and Joints

Part of getting older is naturally losing strength. While there is no proven way to stop the aging process, you can slow it down and maintain your strength with physical exercise. Yoga effectively strengthens bones and joints without putting too much extra strain on the body.

Since yoga is self-paced and can cater to varying mobility levels, any senior can participate and work toward strengthening their body.

Improved Sleep

Since yoga acts as a form of exercise, relieves stress, and has a relaxing effect, seniors who practice yoga often report improved sleep. Sleep is critical for people of all ages, but lack of sleep can harm seniors.

In addition, seniors may be more likely to experience sleep disturbances because of medication side effects or changes in health. Yoga is a natural way to encourage better quality sleep without additional medications.

Mental Health

The body and mind are inextricably linked, and it is difficult to maintain good mental health without physical health. Yoga has been shown to boost mood, improve confidence, and encourage an active lifestyle. While yoga can be practiced at home, an even better option is to enroll in a yoga class for seniors. 

In a classroom setting, you not only have the benefit of a trained instructor, but the social element can also significantly improve mental health. 

Yoga classes are a natural opportunity to make new friends and build exercise into your weekly schedule. If you live in independent living in Bradenton, FL, you may even be able to take a yoga class right on site.

Improve Balance and Flexibility

Falls and accidents are common among seniors and can cause serious injuries. As seniors lose flexibility and balance, the risk of falls increases. Yoga can greatly improve balance and flexibility over time, allowing seniors to respond to falls and accidents better. 

Yoga is a progressive practice, but sticking with it over time can make a big difference in overall mobility.

Stay Active at Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

Independent living can be a great option for seniors looking to stay active who also want an environment with a little more support. Independent living in Bradenton, FL, offers everything seniors could want from retirement. 

From beautiful weather and facilities to various amenities and a real sense of community, seniors from all walks of life find happiness in senior living communities. 

Best of all, these communities encourage social interaction, physical activity, and overall wellness, which helps ensure you enjoy your retirement as long as possible.

Benefits of Swimming in Your Senior Years

Staying active in your senior years is critical to maintaining your health for the long term. For some seniors, issues with mobility can make some types of exercise more difficult. Fortunately, activities like swimming can fill the void. 

Whether you’re living in your home or enjoying independent living in Bradenton, FL, adding swimming to your weekly routine can go a long way toward maintaining and improving your health. 

Read on to learn more about the benefits of swimming in your senior years.

Improves Heart Health

Swimming is a cardiovascular activity by nature. Even if you’re simply walking slow laps around the pool, your heart rate will increase. Working out your heart regularly improves your endurance and cardiovascular health, which can go a long way in keeping ailments at bay. 

Seniors are at an increased risk of heart-related diseases, so prioritizing heart health is critical.

Increases Muscle Strength

There’s no way around it: Muscle tone and strength decrease with age. Over time, activities like lifting weights or doing functional strength training can be hard on the joints. 

Swimming is a great activity to improve strength. You’re still working against the resistance of the water, but you don’t experience the same wear and tear on your body. Improved muscle strength can help you stay agile and avoid accidents like falls.

Low Impact

As you grow older, it can be difficult to find methods of exercise that match your ability level. While there are many exercise options for people with limited mobility, few offer the low-impact workout that swimming does. 

Virtually no other form of exercise offers the support and gentleness of the water. Your body is totally supported while you’re still getting exercise making your way through the water. 

Your buoyancy makes it easy to experiment with different types of exercise and find what’s comfortable yet challenging for you. There’s a reason why water exercise has been used in physical therapy for centuries.

Increases Flexibility

Maintaining flexibility in your later years is important for stability and avoiding accidents. Without exercise, your joints and ligaments can become stiff and start to impact your mobility. Flexibility can help you stay active and retain your overall mobility longer. 

Swimming lets you stretch and move your body in ways you may not be able to outside of the water, and it can greatly improve your flexibility over time. Swimming just one or two times a week can make a big difference that you’ll notice during day-to-day activities.

Improves Mental Health

It’s well understood that mental and physical health are closely linked. Swimming is an easy and fun form of exercise that releases endorphins, improves your mood, and contributes to general mental wellness. 

During retirement, it can be easy to fall into habits that don’t include exercise, but if you make swimming a habit, it can go a long way in helping you reach your health goals. 

Swimming also offers the chance to socialize. Consider enrolling in a senior swim class, or encouraging friends to join you in the pool once a week.

Swim in Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

Florida is a wonderful place to spend your senior years. Between the weather, friendly neighbors, and vibrant retirement communities, you’ll find everything you’re looking for. Independent living in Bradenton, FL, offers seniors the flexibility to live their way and make the most out of their hard-earned retirement. 

Independent living makes it easy to include swimming in your daily routine. From heated outdoor pools to transportation options for offsite water activities, you can easily make swimming part of your lifestyle. Before making any changes to your exercise routine, remember to consult with your primary care physician.

Surprising Amenities You Can Find in Independent Living Facilities

Retirement in Florida is something millions of seniors look forward to each year. It offers more time to relax and spend on hobbies, discover new interests, and make new friends. 

Independent living in Bradenton, FL, provides all of these opportunities and more, as well as convenient amenities that make day-to-day life simple and enjoyable. Here are just a few surprising amenities you can find in independent living facilities.

24/7 Security

Something that many seniors don’t take into account is the security risk of living independently at home. Unfortunately, seniors are more likely than younger generations to be victims of break-ins and robberies. Independent living in Bradenton, FL, offers 24/7 security that will give you and your family total peace of mind. 

A robust security program may include things like:

  • Around-the-clock security officers
  • Visitor screening
  • Camera systems
  • Alarm systems
  • Emergency alert systems

Independent living community security ensures that no one is on the premises who shouldn’t be there, and in the event that a security breach does happen, help is just seconds away.

Wellness and Health Resources

You may think that independent living facilities encourage health through healthy meal options and opportunities for staying active. While this is certainly true, there is so much more available. 

Residents at independent living communities have access to a robust program that guides them to whole-person wellness. The programs go far beyond healthy eating and exercising. They aim to feed multiple dimensions of wellness, including:

  • Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Social
  • Emotional
  • Nutritional
  • Vocational
  • Spiritual
  • Community

Aside from regular programming opportunities, residents also have access to a health resource center so they can get personalized attention along their journey. 

Wellness is something very personal to each individual, so a program or routine that works for one person won’t necessarily be effective for another. Having these resources available to you makes it simple to prioritize wellness and focus on your health for the long term.

Restaurant-Style Dining

Most seniors assume that independent living offers dining halls for on-site dining. While it does offer opportunities for casual dining, you may be surprised to know that you also have access to restaurant-style dining at multiple venues. 

If you’d like the restaurant dining experience, no need to travel off-site. Impressive menus and diverse cuisine are just steps away.

Scheduled Transportation

Some seniors fear that when they transition to senior living, they lose some sense of independence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Independent living communities encourage independence as much as possible, and seniors are empowered to enjoy retirement the way they’d like to. 

In addition to the wonderful on-site services offered, residents also have access to scheduled transportation, which makes getting around a breeze. Whether you need to go to a doctor’s office, go shopping, or enjoy off-site entertainment, scheduled transportation takes all of the guesswork out of getting around.

Library and Computer Center

Independent living communities value access to information and continual learning, which is why you’ll find a library and computer center on-site. From novels to travel books to history books, you can escape into another world through reading in the library. 

The computer center makes it easy to video chat with friends and family, take online learning classes, conduct business, online shop, or simply surf the web.

Take Full Advantage of the Amenities in Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

Retirement is all about enjoying your time, making discoveries, and focusing on yourself through your golden years. The amenities in independent living make it simple and convenient to enjoy retirement the way you want to. From dining to exercise to socialization, you have everything you need and more right at your fingertips. 

A Guide for Couples: How to Choose the Best Independent Living Community

If you and your spouse or partner are considering independent living in Bradenton, FL, you have lots of choices. Whether you want to enjoy retirement together with daily activities or explore your own hobbies independently, you can do so in an independent living community. 

No two independent living facilities are the same, so it’s important to consider all of the factors together before making your decision. Read on for a few tips for couples on how to choose the best independent living community.

Look for Living Accommodations for Couples

Communities that offer independent living in Bradenton, FL, offer accommodations for both individuals and for couples. Make sure to explore the living quarters offered for couples, as the standard living quarters may not be set up to accommodate two people. 

If you and your partner are transitioning from a house, it is especially important to envision yourselves there and confirm there is adequate space for both of you along with your belongings.

Seek Out Activities You Enjoy

If you are transitioning to independent living as a couple, it is important that both of you are able to continue to enjoy the activities you love. Retirement should be spent relaxing and dedicating more time to family, friends, and hobbies, so you’ll want to make sure your favorite activities are easy to access.

Consider Your Finances

While independent living may be more affordable than you may think, it is still a change in your financial situation. Do your research to understand the long-term financial implications of making the move. You can also work with a financial advisor to plan out your options and ensure that you are secure for the future.  

Plan for the Future 

During retirement, it is critical to have a plan for your future. While you certainly hope for a long and healthy life with your partner, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Consider what your future could look like if one of you is no longer able to continue in independent living. 

Having a plan in place will help take away any uncertainty should the unexpected occur. 

Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

Transitioning to independent living as a couple can be a stressful decision, but it should also be a happy time. Independent living can offer many conveniences that allow you and your partner to spend more time together and more time doing the things you enjoy. 

If you take your time in making a thoughtful decision, the best of retirement is ahead of you.

3 Reasons to Settle Down in Florida After Retirement

Retirement is a time to rest, relax, enjoy hobbies, and spend more time with friends and family. There are many places you can spend your retirement years, but Florida offers a unique experience for seniors. 

If you are considering independent living in Bradenton, FL, you’ll find everything you are looking for and more. Whether you are planning to stay active every day, relax with a spouse, or do anything in between, Florida can cater to you. 

Here are three reasons to settle down in Florida after retirement. 

1. The Weather

There’s no doubt about it, Florida attracts retirees from all over the country because of the wonderful weather. The warm climate opens the door for outdoor activities all year round, and there’s no need to worry about snowstorms or freezing temperatures. 

Fresh air and sun are proven to be good for your health and improve your mood, and there is no shortage of those things in Florida. Communities that offer independent living in Bradenton, FL, feature beautiful outdoor areas to relax or enjoy activities so you can make the most of your retirement. 

2. Access to Activities

Since Florida is home to so many retirees, there is never a shortage of activities to keep you busy. From book clubs and walking groups to art classes and lifelong learning courses, there are activities that cater to all interests. Activities are an easy way to learn new skills, stay social, and add variety to your daily schedule.

Whether you want to settle down in your own home or transition to independent living in Bradenton, FL, you’ll have ample opportunities to pick up new hobbies and stay active.

3. Strong Senior Community

Florida has more retirees than almost any other state. That means making friends and being part of a strong senior community is easier than ever. As you move through the later years in life, maintaining strong social ties is especially important. 

Seniors who do not take time to socialize can experience loneliness, which comes along with significant negative health effects. Transitioning to independent living brings a community right to your door and keeps feelings of isolation at bay. 

Retire in Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

Bradenton is a wonderful place to spend retirement and offers a variety of assisted living options that cater to every senior’s interests and needs. Whether you plan to stay active for years to come or are ready to settle into a slower pace of life, you can find what you need in Florida.

Congratulations To Our Volunteers and Team Members Of The Year

We’re beginning our celebration of Westminster Communities of Florida’s Volunteers of the Year and Team Members of the Year! Over the next two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, we’re holding recognition banquets in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando to celebrate these individuals. Be on the lookout for our announcements of the winners prior to each banquet, and fun photos from the event itself.

Congratulations to all the amazing people who make Westminster Communities of Florida a great place to live and work!

Volunteers of the Year

Team Members of the Year

Easy, Practical, and Fun: A List of the Best Apps for Seniors

Today’s seniors are living active lives that include connection through technology. There are hundreds of apps that are great for communication, tracking health, and learning. 

For seniors who live at home or in independent living in Bradenton, FL, apps can help make everyday life a bit easier. Below are a few apps that are especially helpful and practical for seniors. 

1. Facebook Mobile 

Facebook is a great tool that seniors can use to keep up with family and friends. Many seniors already use the desktop version of Facebook to remain connected. The Facebook mobile app lets them stay up to date while on the go, and they can also use the app’s messaging feature.

2. Skype 

Keeping up with family and friends, no matter how far away they live, is now possible with video calling. Skype is a free app that lets seniors make video and audio calls to loved ones right from their mobile devices. The app is easy to use and compatible with most mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

3. ShopWell 

Keeping up with a healthy diet is important during all stages of life, but it is crucial for seniors. ShopWell is an app that makes it easier for seniors to maintain proper levels of nutrition and simplifies the shopping process. 

The app matches foods to the senior’s health needs and automatically makes a shopping list. It also suggests healthier alternatives to a user’s favorite foods.

4. Pill Monitor 

Many seniors are on some type of medication regimen. It is easy to forget to take medication from time to time, even if seniors have easy access to pharmacy services. The Pill Monitor app allows seniors to set schedules and then reminds them when it is time to take medication. 

Particularly useful for seniors in independent living in Bradenton, FL, the Pill Monitor app can help make sure its users don’t forget about any medication. 

5. MedWatcher 

Taking medications as directed is only part of staying healthy. It is also important to stay up to date on notifications from medication manufacturers. Sometimes new information becomes available about the efficacy of a medication, and other times, there may be recalls.

Doctors share this information with patients, but MedWatcher can provide critical updates between visits. 

Benefits of Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

Bradenton, FL, is a wonderful place for seniors to spend retirement. From the sense of community in assisted living facilities to the ample opportunities for outdoor activities, seniors can enjoy their lives fully in independent living.

The Empowering Effects of Senior Transportation

Getting from point A to point B is a critical part of life. From completing chores and errands to meeting friends to exploring the community, transportation is critical at all stages of life. But unfortunately, as seniors age, driving can become an unsafe method of transportation.

When seniors stop driving themselves, they sometimes aren’t supported in finding alternative means of transportation. This means that they can find themselves feeling stuck and isolated overnight. 

However, with the support of family, or by transitioning to independent living in Bradenton, FL, seniors can regain their ability to get around. When transportation is restored for seniors, it can have significant empowering effects.

Restores Feelings of Independence

When seniors can no longer drive, they can suddenly feel helpless or dependent on others. Losing independence can be difficult to cope with, particularly for seniors who live alone.

With effective and available transportation options, seniors can resume their normal activities and retain their sense of independence.

Provides Motivation to Stay Active

Even for seniors in independent living in Bradenton, FL, losing access to transportation can result in losing the motivation to stay active. There are few things worse for overall senior health than staying indoors and letting daily activity levels drop.

With access to transportation, seniors feel more motivated to stay active through events, hobbies, and time with friends.

Maintains Control of Health Choices

One of the most important reasons for senior transportation is getting to health care appointments. When seniors lose access to transportation, they can sometimes deprioritize health. 

Regaining access to transportation gives them the power to take control of their health and play an active role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Reduces Feelings of Isolation

Losing access to transportation can feel incredibly isolating, even for seniors surrounded by family and friends. Seniors with limited or no transportation options may develop feelings of isolation or loneliness that can have real impacts on their mental and physical health.

Senior transportation allows them to get out of the house with ease and keep feelings of isolation at bay.

Transportation Options with Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

There’s no reason for seniors to drive unsafely or be denied access to transportation during retirement.

Bradenton, FL, is home to some of the most convenient and impressive independent living facilities around. Along with a variety of on-site services and amenities, Bradenton’s independent living facilities also offer scheduled transportation to get seniors where they want to go.

Making a Move to Independent Living? 4 Helpful Tips to Plan for Financing

Maybe you’re looking to spend your golden years in a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals, or you’re helping a loved one make this transition to independent living. 

Either way, it’s common knowledge that successfully making the move from your home to an assisted orindependent living facility requires some financial planning.

How to Plan for Your Move to Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

Whether your loved one is already beginning the moving process to an independent living community or they’re simply considering it as a possibility for the future, it’s never too early to start planning out the financial details. Take a look at the four top tips for successful financial planning when it comes to retirement community living.  

1. Be Transparent with Family About Finances

Though the overall costs of living in a retirement community can often average out to less than the costs of homeownership, making the shift to such a community still requires a good deal of inter-family planning and financial allocation. 

If you are helping a loved one fund their transition to independent living or working with other family members to finance the move, all parties involved should be transparent about their own financial situations.

Discussing finances can be uncomfortable, especially between older parents and their adult children. However, maintaining a high level of honesty and open communication around the topic will help family members avoid conflicts or heightened emotions and make the process as smooth as possible.

2. Plan in Advance as Much as Possible

If your loved one wants or needs to move into an assisted living facility within a time frame of just a few months to a year, you may not be able to put away very much to help financially support the transition. 

However, if you are able to plan your family member’s move to assisted living in advance, you’ll be better off monetarily as well as emotionally and logistically. 

Your family will be able to create a fund dedicated to future assisted living costs, and you and your loved one will also be able to start planning the logistics of the moving process well before it begins. This extra time can ensure a smooth and stress-free transition.

3. Consult with a Financial Advisor

If you’re unsure how best to finance your loved one’s move to an independent living community, meeting with a financial advisor is always a good idea. A professional in the field will help you be realistic about what’s possible based on your resources and work alongside you to form a plan for financing independent living for your family member. 

Though you may have to pay a bit upfront for a financial advisor’s services, the value you’ll gain from their expertise will be worth it in the long run. 

Plus, a financial advisor can help you determine whether your family member qualifies for any public benefits such as veterans aid, private credit lines for seniors, or even tax-exempt monetary gifts from family that can help keep them comfortable in their golden years.

4. Make Sure You Understand All of the Costs

As you’re exploring your options for independent living in Bradenton, FL, it’s important to make sure you’re being as detailed as possible when you speak to representatives and learn more about the costs included. 

Always ask for a detailed rundown of what your family member’s monthly bill at the independent living community would include and take the time to compare it side-by-side with their current living expenses as a homeowner or renter. This will allow both of you to be financially prepared for the years ahead.

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