Assisted Living

Assisted Living is described as a long-term care option. A person who struggles to meet the needs and demands of daily routines would often times choose an assisted living program. This long-term option combines support services, health care, and housing. It is a community living program designed for people who have:

  • Memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease
  • Mobility issues
  • Mental illnesses
  • Elderly with no family

There are thousands of assisted living and nursing home communities nationwide. Assisted living has grown quickly over the past few years and has become the most preferred and fastest growing long-term option for senior citizens. There are a vast amount of settings from which to choose. Choices can range from high-rise buildings, campuses on multiple acres, or one-story Victorian style mansions.

 

What Types of Facilities Offer Assisted Living?

Some assisted living facilities are located within retirement communities and some are close to nursing homes, which makes it easy to switch care levels if needed. There is no clear-cut path that directs people towards the decision of moving into a senior living community, whether it is an assisted living community, nursing home, or independent living community. Inability to manage housework, needing assistance with meals, medication management, lack of support, and other issues may push a person to choose a new living arrangement.

Choosing an assisted living residence for yourself or your loved one is one of the biggest and sometimes most difficult decisions you can make. It involves realizations, sometimes painful, that living alone in a home with years of love and memories is no longer the best setting at this time of your or your loved one's life. There are fortunately many senior assisted living and nursing home options.

There are multiple assisted living choices available for you or your loved one. Senior living options involve choices about where you or your loved one wants to spend the next phase of life. Services provided and choices about the level of care and type available are vital decisions to make. Fortunately, each senior living option is unique. Every option will include an individualized plan to aid each resident or potential resident in making a smooth transition.

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Who Uses Assisted Living?

Adults who need help with everyday tasks use assisted living. Assisted living is a home-like care option for people who cannot live on their own. Assisted Living is a step ahead of the in-home caregiving option.

Is assisted living right for you or a loved one? This helpful checklist can aid you in determining if assisted living is an option:

  • Do you or your loved one need more help than family or friends are able to provide you? Are the activities of daily living becoming overwhelming or uncomfortable? If family or in-home caregiving is not fully helping, assisted living is an option.
  • Do you or your loved one feel lonely, sad, or isolated at home? Being an active participant in social activities is essential to your health and happiness. Being alone most of the time can lead to depression. Assisted living offers a huge social benefit. Some of the best facilities offer a broad spectrum of social and recreational activities. The community is also a way to make new friends.
  • Is safety a concern? Your or your loved one's mobility may be limited, making it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. The fear of slipping and falling and having no way to get up or having another emergency with no way of getting help is sure to cause stress.
  • Are you or your loved one unable to maintain a home? There are many responsibilities that come with residing in your own home. Assisted living facilities are very home-like with a worry-free atmosphere. All the work of cooking, shopping for groceries, and doing laundry is removed from yours or your loved one's concern.
  • Is transportation an issue? Do you or a loved one have to rely on friends and family to get from here to there? Where driving is not an option and public transportation is not convenient or easy, assisted living offers transportation.

 

What are the Typical Services Assisted Living offers?

Every community is different, but typical assisted living services include:

Housekeeping: Many times senior citizens go into assisted living programs because they can no longer keep up with necessary housework. Assisted living programs offer housekeeping services such as cleaning rooms, taking out garbage, dusting, running the dishwasher, making beds, etc.

Transportation: Mobility issues are common and can affect a person's ability to personally care for themselves or run errands such as shopping. Assisted living programs include transportation and stops at all necessary places.

Everyday life assistance: This includes personal self-care such as bathing, going to the bathroom, eating, drinking, and administering medication options.

Access to health and medical services: Doctors, nurses, aides, volunteers, and any other provided service personnel are constantly available to anyone in an assisted living program.

Alzheimer's and memory care: Round-the-clock care for people with memory loss difficulties is one of the most common assisted living services.

Staff ready to respond to scheduled and unscheduled needs: Accidents and emergencies can always happen. Staff at assisted living programs are ready for anything.

24-hour security: Security measures are taken to ensure the safety and well-being of each resident.

Emergency call systems for each resident: Each resident's apartment is equipped with emergency systems such as a "help" button, which directs a call straight to any member of the staff.

Exercise/Wellness programs: Part of living well is being able to keep fit. Exercise programs are offered such as aerobics and yoga, as well as a community gym to all residents who are able to participate in exercise and wellness activities.

Medication management: Anyone with a medical condition is well-supervised while in assisted living. Medication management is one of the biggest priorities and staff will take proper measures to ensure medication is administered.

Laundry services: Laundry services can usually be scheduled for any day of the week.

Social and recreational activities: Activities such as scheduled trips, workshops, and "specialized" nights, such as movie night or ice cream night, are scheduled throughout the week.

 

The main purpose of assisted living is to treat a person with dignity and respect while keeping them safe and cared for. It is not always easy to ask for help, and assisted living provides both emotional and physical support. Moving to an assisted living facility is a major life transition but could be for the very best. Talk to your loved ones and family to figure out if assisted living is the right option.

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