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What Is Short-Term Senior Living?

Oct 20, 2023|Senior Living

Senior man riding red bicycle outdoors

When it comes to senior living options, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Adults today are increasingly seeking flexibility and variety in their retirement years, and one option gaining popularity is short-term senior living. The decision to explore a short-term stay at a senior living community can be a transformative experience, offering a unique window into a world of possibilities. Whether you’re seeking respite care, a taste of retirement community living, or simply a change of scenery, short-term stays provide an enriching opportunity.

Let’s explore the concept of short-term senior living, its benefits and why it might be the perfect choice for active adults looking to embrace adventure and flexibility in their retirement years.

Statement of Fairness: Considering senior living options for yourself or a loved one? We’re here to help at every step. And even though we specialize in Independent and Assisted Living communities, our goal is for YOU to find your best path to gracious retirement living, and part of how we achieve that is by providing reliable information on all types of senior living, not just the ones we offer. When our offerings serve as useful illustrations to a specific topic, you can find that information in the attached sidebar.

What is short-term senior living?

Short-term senior living, also known as respite care or a trial stay, offers adults the opportunity to experience the perks of senior living communities without the long-term commitment. It’s a flexible option that can range from a few weeks to several months, allowing seniors to explore new communities, make new friends and enjoy the amenities and services offered by senior living communities. It’s like taking a “test drive” of retirement living without fully relinquishing the comforts of home. 

Short-term senior living is also an excellent option for various situations, including post-hospitalization recovery and caregiver respite. If family members are on vacation and regular supports at home aren’t possible, or if your home is being renovated and you don’t want to stay in a hotel, a short-term stay offers a solution.

You will stay in a private furnished apartment and have access to all the amenities and services the community offers. Short-term stays offer a range of services tailored to the individual’s needs, promoting independence and providing a safe environment for adults to thrive.

What are the benefits of short-term senior living?

The freedom to explore. One of the greatest perks of short-term senior living is the freedom it offers. You’re not locked into a long-term contract or commitment, which means you have the flexibility to explore different communities, locations, care levels and lifestyles. It’s an excellent way to try out different options and see what suits you best without feeling like you’re making a permanent decision.

Senior woman using battle ropes in the gym

Escape the winter blues. Are you tired of shoveling snow and enduring harsh winters? Short-term senior living allows you to escape the cold and enjoy the warmth of a sunny destination during the winter months. Many senior living communities in warmer climates offer short-term stays, providing you with a chance to thaw out, stay active and make new friends while avoiding the snow and ice.

Maintenance-free living. Short-term senior living often includes amenities and services that rival those of high-end resorts. From fitness centers and swimming pools to gourmet dining and social activities, you’ll have access to a wide range of perks that can make your stay feel like an extended vacation. It also typically includes services such as housekeeping and maintenance.

Socialize and make new friends. Choosing a short stay at a senior living community can be an excellent way to socialize and expand your social circle. Many adults who choose this option find themselves making lasting friendships with like-minded individuals. Whether you enjoy group fitness classes, arts and crafts, or simply sharing stories over a cup of coffee, short-term senior living provides ample opportunities to connect with others.

Test the waters. If you’re considering a permanent move to a senior living community but are unsure about making the leap, short-term living allows you to try it out before committing. You can get a real sense of what daily life is like in a community, learn about the services offered, and determine if it aligns with your needs and preferences. It’s like a trial period that helps you make an informed decision about your future.

Refined Culinary Experiences at The Rio Grande

Chef and staff member serving group of seniors at dining table

Our executive chef and culinary team at The Rio Grande create homemade meals from scratch, as well as tempting desserts, three times each day. These are then served to your table by our friendly wait staff while you relax and converse with new friends. Our menu offers a variety of nutritional choices at every meal, and snacks and beverages are available anytime, at no extra charge.

“I enjoy being sociable in the dining room while eating delicious meals.”

—Chris Merrick, The Rio Grande, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Peace of mind for loved ones. Short-term senior living can also provide peace of mind to your loved ones. If your family is concerned about your well-being or need a break from caregiving responsibilities, a short-term stay in a senior living community can be a win-win solution. They’ll know that you’re in a safe and supportive environment, while you get the chance to relax and recharge.

Customized care. Many communities that offer short-term senior living also offer personalized care plans, which means you can receive the level of assistance you need, whether it’s minimal help with daily tasks or more comprehensive care. This will depend on the level of care offered at a community, whether it be independent living or assisted living or both. 

Seniors and staff member talking at dining table

How much does a short-term stay cost?

Every senior living community is different when it comes to rates, but expect to pay between $99 to $250 or more daily. In addition, ask for a copy of the community’s financial policies to see what is included in the rate versus additional fees. You may have price options based on meal plans, the amount of assistance needed and activities. Note that Medicare and Medicaid only cover specific types of short terms stays and it’s important to check with your program specifics. 

What should I look for in short-term senior housing?

Assessing support needs. Before selecting a community for a short-term stay, it’s essential to evaluate your specific support needs. Different communities offer varying levels of care, so finding one that aligns with you is crucial.

Location and amenities. Consider the location of the community and the amenities it offers. A conveniently located community with facilities that match your interests can greatly enhance your experience.

Reputation and reviews. Research the reputation of the short-term senior living community by reading reviews and testimonials from residents and their families. Positive feedback and recommendations indicate a trustworthy and caring environment.

Senior woman sitting on the couch and working on laptop

A Unique Approach to Independent Living at Southern Pines

Hawthorn residences like Southern Pines have live-in management teams. These managers get to know each resident personally. Through this hands-on approach to independent living, our live-in managers are able to support and service residents when needed.

At select Hawthorn communities, managers live on-site and are available throughout the day. They eat the same meals, enjoy the same amenities and experience the same gracious retirement living experience as the residents. They treat residents like family because they live in the community alongside them.

Is short-term senior living right for you?

Short-term senior living isn’t just for respite care; it’s a chance to enrich your retirement experience and explore new possibilities. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if it’s the right fit for you:

  • Flexibility. Are you looking for a flexible living arrangement that doesn’t tie you down to a long-term commitment? Short-term stays allow you to come and go as you please.
  • Social interaction. If you’re seeking a more social and engaging retirement lifestyle, short-term stays offer abundant opportunities to connect with others.
  • Support needs. Depending on your health and support requirements, short-term senior living can be a suitable choice. Many facilities provide varying levels of care to accommodate individual needs.
  • Temporary respite. If you’re a caregiver in need of temporary respite or if you’d like your loved one to experience the benefits of senior living while you take a break, short-term stays can be an excellent solution.

See for yourself

Embracing a short-term senior living experience can be an enriching journey for adults, and to truly find the perfect fit, we encourage you to visit all potential communities in person. Taking a personal tour and meeting the dedicated staff and friendly residents can be a transformative experience. It not only helps you get a feel for the atmosphere and amenities but also allows you to envision the warm and welcoming community that awaits you.

These visits enable you to ask questions, gather information, and, most importantly, establish a sense of belonging. So embrace the chance to connect, discover and make informed decisions about your short-term senior living adventure. The firsthand experience will undoubtedly pave the way for a rewarding and fulfilling chapter in your life.

Time to refresh and renew

In the world of senior living, short-term stays offer a “no strings attached” approach to retirement living. They allow adults to explore new communities, make friends and enjoy the amenities and services of senior living without a long-term commitment. Whether you’re looking for adventure, a break for caregivers or a chance to try before you buy, short-term senior living may be the perfect choice.

Activities Abound at Hessler Heights

At Hessler Heights Gracious Retirement Living, residents have the opportunity to engage with others and cherish meaningful connections. The community offers a diverse range of recreational activities that foster socialization and bonding among residents. Whether participating in lively card games, relishing live entertainment or exploring new dining experiences together, the focus is on cultivating friendships, embracing an active lifestyle and creating cherished memories full of joy and excitement.

Group of seniors with life jackets and helmets white water rafting with guide

“My mom looks forward each day to making new friends, participating in planned activities, enjoying the walking paths and outdoor landscape, and eating excellent meals in the gorgeous dining room.”

—The Meyers-Paynes, Hessler Heights, Leesburg, Virginia

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