About Senior Living


As we age, we find that our needs and preferences for housing evolve. Perhaps you’d like a greater sense of community with your neighbors. Or maybe you’d prefer access to on-call assistance. Or, if neither of those needs are on your radar, possibly a greater peace of mind knowing that health support services are right there in your building is important to you.

The good news is that you have many options from which to choose. With so many options, however, the challenge can be understanding the differences between them. Rockbridge Oaks wants to help you achieve the lifestyle you want. To that end, we’re here to help you make sense of the many living options available to you. Our goal is to help you determine which senior housing option is best for you, a relative or friend.


Housing Options for 55+ in Chattanooga

If you’re looking for a community that supports your active and independent lifestyle, there are a few options that offer varying degrees of support.

55+ Retirement Communities

These communities are sometimes described as “age-restricted” or “age-qualifying,” which means you must be 55 or older to move in. If you’re interested in a residential community designed to be retirement friendly – and one that takes care of many maintenance tasks – this is an excellent choice. Much of the general upkeep of your home comes with your membership in the community.

The type of housing offered is different for each 55+ retirement community. They may provide apartments, shared-wall townhomes, cottages and more. Many communities will have multiple housing types to choose from, allowing you to pick what feels right for your lifestyle.


Independent Living Communities

These communities are similar to 55+ retirement communities. Independent living communities in the Chattanooga area tend to offer additional perks, such as sponsored events and programming. Extra amenities, such as on-site gyms, pools, restaurants and more are provided. These services and amenities are aimed at connecting neighbors and giving residents easy options for staying active.


Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

A CCRC provides residents with ongoing, adaptive care as their needs evolve. A CCRC resident continues to be supported within and by the community with a range of options, from fully independent living to skilled nursing assistance. Many community residents find peace of mind knowing they won’t have to uproot and change neighborhoods due to a change in their health.


Communities for Those Needing Support or Assistance

As we age, we frequently find that we need some degree of assistance in our day-to-day lives. Fortunately, several types of communities are available to help you continue to lead the lifestyle you want, even as your care needs change.

Assisted Living Communities

Those looking for a little more support can benefit significantly from an assisted living community. You continue to live largely independently, but staff are on hand to help with all manner of daily tasks as the need arises.

There’s a broad range of activities that team members will assist with, depending on the community. Some of the most common are dressing, bathing and eating. Ultimately, team members will work with you to ensure your needs are met while you maintain the highest degree of independence possible.


Nursing Homes

A Chattanooga nursing home can provide residents with a full range of healthcare services in addition to consistent daily assistance. It is a good option for those who’ve found they can no longer live safely and efficiently in their own home because they require around-the-clock care. Nursing homes blend the residential and healthcare environments, and they sometimes include skilled nurses as part of their staff.


Skilled Nursing Communities

These communities offer around-the-clock medical care for those who require ongoing health monitoring. Their teams include licensed medical professionals who can provide skilled nursing care. People with more severe or involved health requirements benefit from the increased medical resources in these communities.

One important note to remember: there are federal protections for residents of nursing homes and skilled nursing communities. The protections cover a resident’s financial affairs, personal property and right to privacy. Visitors are allowed at any time, according to the resident’s wishes. Entering these communities does not mean giving up one’s rights and autonomy.


Memory Care Communities

For anyone experiencing memory loss, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, a memory care community may be the best choice for maintaining an engaged lifestyle. These communities feature a team of well-trained professionals equipped to help with the various aspects of memory loss as it affects daily living.

Homes in these communities feature additional safety features and design elements to benefit those experiencing memory loss. Social connections and relationships are also actively supported, both with people and pets. These communities offer activities and events that are designed to enhance memory and cognition. By being intentional in developing these communities’ physical and social space, those experiencing memory loss can continue to live safe and full lives.


Short-term Care and Assistance

Short-term care and assistance offer support to friends and family members acting as primary caregivers for older adults. These options allow care providers the flexibility to step away from caregiving responsibilities for short periods of time. The duration of a person’s time in short-term care may range from a few hours to several weeks.

Adult Day Care

An adult day care offers a professional, safe and interactive space with trained staff. It can be an excellent way to help a person suffering from loneliness or isolation thanks to the highly social atmosphere.

While adult day cares vary in terms of what services and assistance they provide, most are equipped for personal grooming assistance and therapeutic exercise. Many also offer meals, snacks and transportation for participants. Some adult day cares also specialize in supporting people with specific needs, such as people experiencing memory loss.


Short Stay/Respite Care Programs

The idea behind short-stay programs is very similar to adult day care. They allow the care provider flexibility to take a break from caregiving responsibilities, while ensuring a continuous positive environment for the person receiving care.

Short stay, or also know as respite care, programs can take many different forms. It may be that a friend, family member or a paid care provider comes to a person’s home to take over responsibility temporarily. Sometimes assisted living communities or nursing homes offer short stay programs as well, where a person would spend time in their community instead of at home. Regardless of the specific arrangements, the person receiving care experiences no break in support throughout the program.


Residential Care and Assistance

While residential care and assistance offer many of the same services as other forms of living, it is all done in a private-residence setting. Multiple types of residential care and assistance are available, and they are a good choice for people who prefer to live in a single-family home environment.

In-Home Care: in-home care allows a person to remain in their own home, or in the home of a family member or friend. A care provider, either paid or an acquaintance, assists with daily tasks and chores. They may provide a range of healthcare services as well, depending on need and training.

Residential Care Homes: these homes are supported by a team of professionals who provide around-the-clock help with all manner of daily tasks and needs. A typical residential care home will have a small number of residents sharing a private residence. They may offer individual rooms as well as roommate options. Meals are usually provided. Residential care homes may include a variety of residents, not just older adults. Certain residential care homes will cater exclusively to certain communities, however, such as people experiencing memory loss.

Hospice Care: hospice care is specifically for people who are facing a terminal illness. It can take several forms, including paid hospice caregivers as well as family and friends taking on caregiving responsibilities.

Hospice care often takes place in a private residence. However, there are also hospice facilities, as well as hospice providers that support housing for multiple individuals. Time spent in hospice care can vary dramatically based on an individual’s situation. It may last anywhere from a week to more than six months. A person’s time in hospice care is usually accompanied by palliative treatment.


Choosing the Way You Want to Live

The variety of housing and care options available reflects the endless array of experiences and circumstances a person may desire. When trying to decide for yourself or someone you care about, it’s best to understand your wants and needs clearly. Consider:

  • The level of assistance you need during day-to-day activities
  • Your medical needs and if they’re likely to change soon
  • The degree of home maintenance and cleaning you are willing or able to perform
  • Your preferred environment, i.e. senior apartment, townhome, private residence, etc.

With all these choices, you’re sure to find an option that fits not only your lifestyle goals but also your health and safety needs. Rockbridge Oaks is the right choice if you are looking for Tennessee assisted living options. We have beautiful 55+ senior apartments in a range of sizes. We also have dedicated memory care that offers custom programming for residents, allowing them to make the most of their strengths.