An assisted living residence and community is a long-term care option that allows individuals to remain as independent as possible. Assisted living provides an environment that protects autonomy, privacy, and safety of seniors, predominately by assisting in meal preparation, medication management, bathing, dressing, and transportation.
What You Need to Know
Assisted Living Communities Are Common and Widespread
Based on assisted living statistics provided by the National Center for Assisted Living, “there are 30,200 assisted living communities with 1 million licensed beds in the United States today. The number of licensed beds within a community range from 4 to 499, and the average number of licensed beds is 33.” Regional distribution is as follows: Northeast (8.2 percent), Midwest (21.8 percent), South (28.1 percent), and West (42 percent).
You Can Find an Assisted Living Near You
Amidst the hunt for finding a new home for your loved one, you may be wondering, “Is there an assisted living near me?” But with assisted living facilities so common and widespread across the U.S., there is great opportunity to find placement close to you. In addition to finding an assisted living facility close in proximity, verify the needs and amenities for your loved one is available. Also evaluate care staff when visiting the facility, taking into consideration whether or not staffing can accommodate residents at all times of the day, meet any unscheduled needs that may arise, and the training and skills they contain. To make the search for your loved one easier, find an assisted living facility near you by clicking here.
Assisted Living Facilities Encourage Independence
Seniors are encouraged to remain as independent as possible, and assisted living facilities can encourage such autonomy if your loved one needs such assistance. Ultimately, assisted living facilities are suitable for individuals needing basic and minimal personal care. Typical services for your loved one include 24-hour supervision and support, personal care services and assistance for activities of daily living, health and wellness programs, housekeeping and maintenance, medication management, and transportation. Living arrangements are likely to feel like home and likely include a personal bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen area. Assisted living spaces also offer extensive common living spaces and outside grounds where seniors can freely roam and interact. Oh, and not to mention… Pets are allowed! The permission of cats, dogs, birds, etc. is highly beneficial, as pets have been suggested to offer a healing power in elderly adults, helping to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase both social interaction and physical activity.
Assisted Living is Different from A Nursing Home
Unlike nursing homes that provide around the clock nursing care similar to a hospital, assisted living facilities do not directly provide certain health care aids. So in addition to typical services, common coordinated services in assisted living communities include dental, depression screening, hospice, mental health, pharmacy, podiatry, skilling nursing, and a variety of therapies, including physical and occupational. Assisted living facilities are oftentimes part of retirement communities and a medium to nursing homes, if or when they may be needed further down the road.
Numerous Educational Opportunities and Activities Are Available
Along with the traditional assistances and amenities, assisted living facilities often offer numerous educational opportunities to study new skills, including learning computer programs, acquiring a second language, and other courses that trigger personal interest. Seniors can participate in a number of social and individual activities, including yoga, karaoke, open-mic night, cooking and art classes, amongst many others. Assisted living facilities may also coordinate with community partners, offering volunteer opportunities such as walking dogs for animal shelters and stocking shelves at food pantries.
Assisted Living May Be Costly and Regulations Vary by State
Assisted living costs may be lower than nursing home care, but it is still fairly expensive. Though health and long-term care insurance policies may cover some of the costs, the senior or family members are usually the ones paying the majority. And while assisted living facilities tend to exhibit common themes when it comes to quality of care, there is no federal regulation policies at this time, but rather states enacting rules exclusive to their territory. State-specific guidelines include the demand for care plans, medical care cut-offs, requirement for leisure activities, and dementia training directives.