What is Assisted Living?

Most people are unaware of how assisted living communities are different from other senior care communities. If you are considering assisted living as an option for a loved one, get to understand the basics first. An assisted living residence is a long-term housing option for seniors or the disabled who are given personal care support such as nursing, meals, medication management, dressing, transportation and housekeeping as needed. It is designed for individuals who need very little daily care and can remain independent, enjoy their privacy, safety and community involvement.

Facts about Assisted Living in the US

There are more than 31,000 assisted living communities in the US. Assisted living residents usually live in apartments although the facilities vary from state to state. There are more than 475,500 apartments in assisted living communities in the US with over 735,000 residents in total. Most residents live in assisted living communities for two to three years prior to moving to nursing homes. There are those who return home, others are discharged to stay in hospital or due to financial problems. The average length of stay for most residents in the US is 36 months.

What services are offered?

Assisted living communities offer a number of services to senior adults who are able to live independently but need some level of assistance. The type of care provided helps the resident to improve their quality of life. Assisted living communities will provide ADLs (activities of daily living) which include dressing, mobility, eating, hygiene, toileting, shopping and using the phone. Other basic services offered in assisted living communities include health and exercise programs, educational activities, religious activities, 24-hour security, wellness programs, transportation, social programs and access to medical services.

When taking a loved one to an assisted living community, the resident together with his or her family should be given an orientation that includes all the services provided. Additionally, the community should help families of the care recipient to determine which services their loved ones need. Reevaluations should also be done on a regular basis to determine if the care recipient requires additional services as time goes by. Most communities work hand in hand with health care facilities to help their residents get nursing care and hospice services.

How much does it cost?

The cost of living in an assisted living community will vary depending on the type of residence, size and type of apartment and the services rendered. Sometimes the location of the community will also determine the living costs. For most assisted living communities, the resident pays a fixed rate for all services and an additional amount for any special services. There are those that charge a monthly rate whereas others provide annual rates for long term residents. The cost is likely to cover the room charged, the meals, a deposit and other laundry/housekeeping fees.

When looking for an assisted living community, it is important to find one that provides the best quality of care. Know the regulations that govern these facilities in your area and ensure they are all met.

 

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