What is Assisted Living?
What is an assisted living community? The following information from Elegance Living explains how assisted living* differs from other types of senior care communities, plus provides information on how they can help seniors achieve a sense of purpose and well-being in their retirement years.
What Are Assisted Living Facilities?
According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), "Assisted living is part of a continuum of long term care services that provides a combination of housing, personal care services, and health care designed to respond to individuals who need assistance with normal daily activities in a way that promotes maximum independence."
In sum, assisted living facilities are types of housing options designed to accommodate individuals who require various levels of personal and medical care. Living spaces may be individual rooms, shared quarters, cottages, or apartments. Assisted living facilities are designed to offer a home-like setting where residents can maintain their independence while receiving assistance with daily activities.
What Services are Offered in Assisted Living?
So, what does assisted living provide? From meal preparation and housekeeping to bathing and laundry, assisted living facilities may offer an array of services to meet each resident’s unique needs. Here's a brief overview of services traditionally offered by assisted living facilities:
Safety and Security
One of the most valuable things an assisted living facility can offer to residents is access to 24-hour support and care as needed. With full-time safety and security measures, residents can remain as independent as possible without the concerns of injury, fall risks, or other hazards that could be life-threatening when living alone.
Some assisted living facilities also have monitoring systems placed in common areas and around the surrounding property to increase the safety and security of residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
Assistance with Daily Activities
In most assisted living communities, caregivers are available 24/7 to help with personal care and daily activities. Residents who need this extra assistance can set up a schedule for personal care activities like getting dressed in the morning, taking a bath, and help with medication management. However, there are always caregivers close by to assist with unscheduled needs as they arise, too.
Many facilities also have staff members that help with scheduling, coordinating, and transporting residents to their appointments. For added convenience, some assisted living communities even have amenities and professionals on-site, such as hair salons, pharmacies, physical therapy, and other services.
Social Activity and Entertainment
Most assisted living facilities provide a variety of common areas like libraries, cafes, art rooms, and gaming rooms designed to encourage social activity and a sense of community. Facilities often also offer more structured social gatherings each month such as movie viewings, gardening clubs, art lessons, cooking classes, and off-site day trips, for which transportation is provided.
Who Can Live in an Assisted Living Facility?
Most residents living in assisted living facilities are seniors who may need help with daily care but don’t necessarily need the full support that a nursing home provides. Often, seniors who have early-stage Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia can live in an assisted living community as well, until the disease advances and they require the services that a memory care facility provides. Oftentimes, assisted living communities will provide varying levels of care to meet the needs of each resident, such as having an assisted living wing and a memory care wing.
What Are Some Signs That Assisted Living Might Be Necessary?
We know how difficult it can be to come to terms with the fact that there’s only so much you can do to support your loved one alone. When you’re ready to get extra help, assisted living is a middle ground option that may make the most sense for both you and your loved one.
If your loved one is displaying one or more of the following signs, it may be time to look into assisted living services:
Inability to manage medication
Declining personal hygiene
Unkempt living areas
Difficulty with communication
What is the Average Cost of Assisted Living?
The types of services offered by assisted living facilities are designed to meet the unique needs of each resident, which may evolve over time. For that reason, the costs of assisted living will range based on your location and the specific services your loved one might require throughout the day.
How Can You Begin Your Search for an Assisted Living Facility?
If you or a loved one is beginning to need help with the regular activities of daily living or anticipates the need for that help soon, We are here for you and your family. Contact us today to learn more about the unique care and services we have to offer.
*Assisted living is called personal care in select states.