In the United States, there are already an estimated one million Americans residing in senior care facilities and homes for their long-term care. By the year 2050, however, that number is expected to reach 27 million Americans in these homes.Senior care options are always expanding, due in part to the aging Baby Boomer population and the healthcare that makes a longer life span possible for many.

However, it can sometimes be difficult to make sense of the choices available for senior living. While some seniors love the independence that some living communities can afford them, as many as 40% of seniors need assistance with at least three of their daily tasks (e.g. eating, dressing, bathing, and taking medication). To determine whether you or a loved one would require an independent living community or an assisted living home, take a look at these popular senior care options.

Senior Independent Living Communities

Independent living is becoming a popular choice for many seniors because it gives them the advantages of being at home. Although the term “independent” implies that seniors receive no help, some communities do have staff on hand to assist residents when they need it. These communities also feature a variety of amenities, with some taking on a spa-like atmosphere and offering massage therapy, exercise classes, and world-class menus. Residents may enjoy living in these communities because they offer social activities and other opportunities for seniors to stay active.

Senior Assisted Living Homes

For other seniors, there are assisted living homes, which often help those who require more long-term care. The average length of stay in assisted living is 671 days, or around 22 months, for the seniors who need it most. Additionally, many of these homes help with treating dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions that require more intensive care. However, assisted living doesn’t mean there aren’t chances for residents to socialize and participate in group classes and activities. There is often plenty to do in all types of senior facilities.

Making a decision to enter a senior living facility can be a complex one, but you’re not alone. Research estimates show that approximately 70% of seniors over age 65 will at some point need long-term care. If you have questions about senior living options, be sure to visit a local home to speak with the staff.