As Americans start getting older, they need to start considering different housing options. Certain medical conditions may make it difficult or expensive to live in certain types of housing. They also may need more access to doctors and health care providers. At the same time though, many seniors want to maintain some independence. That's assisted living is an option that many seniors should consider.
What Characteristics do the Residents share?
The ages of assisted living residents can vary, but most are in their 50s or older. Many have conditions that make it difficult for them to live on their own, like Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia. Some communities allow people of any age who have developmental disabilities; other assisted living communities may specialize in a certain condition.
Are the communities Certified?
Most states require assisted living communities to be registered, licensed, or certified by the appropriate department or agency that has a process for issuing intial licenses and renewing existing licenses.
Services and Activities Provided
Assisted living community staff members try to promote the quality of life and independence of their residence by providing certain services and activities, such as:
- 24 hour supervision
- 3 meals a day in a group dining room.
- Personal care services for those that need it.
- Medication management, or assistance with administering medications for those that need it.
- Social services.
- Supervision and assistance for people with Alzheimer's or other memory problems and disabilities
- Recreational and spiritual activities.
- Exercise and wellness programs.
- Laudry and linen services.
- Housekeeping and maintenance.
- Arrangements for transportation.
Each resident receives individual services to help him or her function in the assisted living community.
Personal care and Health Services
Assisted living communities may provide supervision or assistance with activities of daily living to those that need it. They decide who needs help by monitoring resident activities and coordinating services with outside health care providers so each resident can receive the help they need.
They also frequently assist in arranging other medical, health and dental care services for each resident. The resident decides which medical doctor and dentist they want to see, and the assisted living community staff makes the appropriate arrangements.
Accommodations vary from one community to another. Some may have private bathrooms, or kitchenettes. It's important to consider your personal needs or preferences, as well as the money you have in your budget, before deciding which accommodations you'd be most comfortable with.
This is just a brief overview some of the most frequent concerns people have when looking at an assisted living community. When looking at an assisted living community for yourself or a loved one, consider what services you or they will need, the money you have available to pay for it, and any other money you receive throughout the month that could go toward the cost of paying for your accommodations. Moving to an assisted living community is a big change, so make sure you choose a community you'll be comfortable at, and that provides all the services you'll need.