What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a type of senior housing that provides care for older adults who need help with daily activities and can no longer live independently. It’s also known as residential care or adult care. Residents of assisted living facilities typically have good social skills, are generally healthy, and are usually able to dress themselves. They may need help with bathing, eating, or taking their medications. Sometimes they may have memory problems or other mental health concerns. Regardless of your loved one’s physical limitations, assisted living communities often offer programs that promote independence and encourage socialization among residents. Programs may include meals shared with other residents in the dining room or outdoor patio; outings; fun activities like bingo, knitting circles, arts and crafts projects; board games; computer access for internet use or email; and more. These community-based activities can be an important source of social stimulation for many older adults who might otherwise feel lonely or isolated in their own homes.
What to Look for When You’re Assessing If a Senior Living Community is Right for Your Loved One
When choosing an assisted living facility for your loved one, you should consider what type of care he or she needs and whether the facility will provide it. It’s important to assess the facility and the services offered before deciding if it would be a good fit. Ask yourself these questions:
– Is the facility in close proximity to my loved one’s home?
– What are the costs associated with staying there?
– How often do they offer activities that my loved one likes, like bingo or outings?
– Does the facility have a good reputation for providing quality care?
– Does the staff seem friendly and welcoming?
Staffing and Services
Assisted living communities typically offer 24-hour supervision by staff. Staff members provide assistance with daily activities and can also help manage chronic medical or mental health conditions. There may be a variety of services that are provided, but they usually include personal care, housekeeping, meal services, and transportation. The type of service available at each community will depend on the size of the facility, the needs of its residents, and the number of staff available to provide it.
Dining and Meal Activities
Many assisted living communities offer dining services for residents and staff. They might include a full kitchen with cooking area, either with or without a chef; food pantries; or fully equipped cafeterias that offer a wide variety of meals, snacks, and refreshments. Some communities also offer a community meal program where meals are delivered to the homes of eligible residents. In such cases, community members may serve as volunteers to prepare and deliver the meals to homes on a weekly basis. Sometimes older adults who live alone may be eligible in some assisted living communities for delivery of meals from home. This usually requires that participants provide their own pots, pans, utensils, dishes, and food staples like pasta or rice.
Outdoor programs are often a highlight of assisted living facilities. Residents might participate in gardening, walking, arts and crafts, or exercise activities like yoga. Some communities might offer morning yoga classes on a regular basis. Especially during inclement weather, outdoor activities are an important way for residents to stay active. When there’s no indoor activity, residents can use the community’s gym or pool. A sense of personal accomplishment may also be part of outdoor recreation for some older adults who face challenges with physical limitations.
Additional Activities and Services
Assisted Living Offers Assisted living provides a wide range of services and activities for residents, many of which focus on supporting their independence. Some examples:
– On-site health care, including physical rehabilitation and nursing
– Management of medication and other needs of residents
– Counseling services
– Activities like bingo, knitting circles, arts and crafts projects; board games; computer access for internet use or email; movie nights; outings; funerals; and more
Cost and Financing
The cost of assisted living varies greatly depending on the type and number of services you want your loved one to have. Some facilities offer basic care for a set monthly rate, whereas others offer a range of services for an hourly fee. Many facilities allow you to apply for financial assistance through government programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs are designed to help those who need extra support with their rent and often include other benefits, like transportation and food.
While choosing a senior living community for your loved one, it’s important to understand the factors that make a community the best fit for your loved one. Assisted living facilities may be a good option for an older person who needs help with daily living tasks but wants to remain in their own home. To learn more, please visit our website.