Navigating Different Levels of Senior Living


Independent Living. Assisted Living. Memory Care

More than 17% of the U.S. population is 65 and older. That means every year more and more people are beginning the search for senior living. In the past, options for senior housing were limited. Fortunately, there are more senior living options available today than ever before.

The idea of a one size fits all solution has been replaced by a variety of senior housing options designed to meet the care needs and personal preferences of older adults—while preserving their independence and helping them make the most of their lives.

Improvements in health care, nutrition and access to information have helped people to live longer, however, living longer doesn’t mean living life unchanged. As you age, you may need different housing choices and accommodations—and the senior housing market has produced a variety of choices as broad as the market it serves.

When you are choosing senior living, you’ll have more choices than ever before. Navigating the different levels of senior living can be difficult. That’s why it’s a good idea to get to know the different levels of senior living before you start your search.

Independent Senior Living 

For those who want to live on their own, independent living provides the opportunity to live within a senior community without the work and worry of maintaining your home and yard.

Independent senior housing options include senior cooperatives and condominiums. You get the perks of home ownership without the maintenance and upkeep. You’ll enjoy life on your own, in your home within a community created for older adults and healthy aging. Fitness rooms, walking and bike trails, and community rooms for parties provide you with the perfect location to live your best life.

Independent living located within an assisted living community lets you maintain your independence but leaves your options open. Your apartment home gives you access to the best of both worlds— the privacy and independence you want, with opportunities to join in community events, create a meal plan if desired; and live a maintenance-free lifestyle with the option to add personal care and services.

If you need a little extra help, you can contract services such as housekeeping or personal care. If you find you consistently need more help, it might be time to consider assisted living.

Assisted Senior Living 

Whether you need help with dressing, bathing, cooking, or cleaning, you can get care and services in your private apartment home. Assisted living may provide weekly housekeeping, a choice of meal plans plus the personal assistance that will help you live as independently as you can. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in planned activities, field trips and weekly happy hours. Many who live in assisted living communities find that the social life is a real bonus!

Memory Care Senior Living 

For those living with memory loss, Alzheimer’s, or dementia, memory care neighborhoods—usually located within the assisted living community—offer uniquely designed apartments and specialized programming. Caregivers are specially trained to provide person-centered care and attention to individual care needs. Controlled access entrances and exits give families peace of mind.

Nursing Homes (Long-term Skilled Care) 

For those who need 24-hour care, long-term skilled nursing offers around-the-clock health care support and daily assistance. Skilled care offers the highest levels of senior living care. Nursing homes are licensed healthcare facilities inspected and regulated by the state department of health.


As you navigate different levels of senior living, in addition to finding a community that meets your care needs, you should also keep in mind that the location of the community is also important. Where do you want to live? Do you prefer the familiarity of your current location and want to find senior housing in your own community? Or do you look forward to moving closer to loved ones who may live in a different area? Perhaps you are interested in experiencing a new neighborhood altogether? Your personal preferences are an important factor in your decision.


What is your budget? Many times, when you add up the day-to-day expenses of maintaining a home, meals, housekeeping, and care attendants, you find that senior living communities are a wise choice.

At Northern Lakes specifically we invite you to call for a tour to learn more about what the cost of senior living can provide. We hope you are pleasantly surprised by all that is included and how much senior living at Northern Lakes is worth the life change and cost.


Lisa Battin

Culinary Director 

Lisa has been with Northern Lakes since it opened! She runs an organized kitchen & values team work. Lisa wants meal time to be a highlight for residents. Delicious food & excellent service are her standard. 

Northern Lakes has been a Godsend for my parents. My mom needs the added care and my dad can stay with her. The aides, caregivers and staff are so kind, caring, and professional. They provide such good care. The facility itself is beautiful, clean, and well maintained. It feels homey. 


Northern Lakes is taking extreme care at keeping my mother safe, comfortable, and entertained. They have found a way to make personal visits, to continue the exercise routines and having the residents work out at their doorway. My mom sits in her doorway and plays bingo with those on her floor for prizes.


Contact Northern Lakes Senior Living!


(218) 454-2121


8186 Excelsior Road
Baxter, MN 56425

Get In Touch With Us

Fill out this contact form or give Angelique a call at 218-454-2121 for more information or to schedule a tour!

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