Community Age And Condition
It is important to know what services are offered so your senior will either feel at home or live with his or her peers. Each facility has a minimum age requirement for acceptance.
If you’re a senior or family needing care is too young or too old among the other facility residents, it may cause more damage or problem rather than help. If your family member wants to simply find companions to live a happier life, then maybe you shouldnt put them in a facility with rehab or long-term medical care residents.
What Are Assisted Living Requirements
Before determining whether assisted living is the right choice for your aging loved one, its important to understand the requirements for admission at an assisted living facility. Unlike skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities dont require a physicians prescription for admission.
While each facility has their own admission process, most will:
- Review your loved ones medical history to get a complete picture of your loved ones health.
- Perform a functional assessment to fully understand the potential residents skills and care needs.
- Develop a care plan to outline what type of care services will be provided.
- Require admission forms to be filled out before moving in.
Options For Assisted Living
There are thousands of assisted living facilities in the U.S., many of them offering specialized services, so prospective residents have options depending on their circumstances and preferences.
Assisted living facilities generally provide meals, housekeeping, transportation, security, physical therapy, and activities for residents. Healthcare and supervision are available 24/7 in most facilities. The facility will create a written care plan for each resident and reassess and update the plan as needed.
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Personal Care And Check
Medication may be crucial to maintaining quality of life for a senior. Assisted living facilities may provide medication management and distribution under direct supervision of a licensed healthcare professional.
Assisted living facilities may also assist with personal care such as getting dressed, bathing, housekeeping and laundry, as well as security with supervision and access to onsite staff which may reduce senior and family stress.
Who Is A Good Fit For Assisted Living
Assisted living is appropriate for older adults who are in need of custodial care assistance with activities of daily living . This may include assistance with: personal care, hygiene, meals, mobility and medication. State regulated assisted living facilities may accept individuals based on individual care requirements.
Assisted living may not be appropriate for those with severe mental impairment , demonstrate certain behavioral symptoms , have broad medical requirements, require skilled nursing care, or require daily nursing services.
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When To Move From Assisted Living To A Nursing Home
Assisted living serves the needs of older adults only to a certain extent. At some point, depending on the individuals needs and the capabilities and rules of the assisted living community, certain individuals may need a higher level of care than the facility can provide.
Suppose the assisted living community has not required a move. In that case, you may also decide its time for your loved one to move from assisted living to a nursing facility, memory care community, or smaller adult care home for a number of reasons. Memory care may be more appropriate if your loved one is struggling with a form of dementia, wandering, or exit-seeking. Nursing homes often have on-site physicians who can be more attentive to your loved ones complex medical needs.
Services You Can Expect From Most Assisted Care Facilities
#1: Social Activities and Outings
Assisted living facilities emphasize activities and outings as an integral part of their culture.
With a variety of fun things to do, its easy to make residents smile. It is not difficult or expensive to create fun at an assisted living facility.
The typical assisted living facility is active and engaging. The majority of them offer rewarding and positive experiences for residents, and activities play a crucial role in that.
Activities are a great way to make the residents feel like they are part of the community.
Assisted living communities often pride themselves on maintaining a home-like environment, and a robust activities program can help residents and their families feel a sense of community.
Providing residents with an individualized, well-thought-out activities program in an assisted living facility is essential. There are so many more activities available for seniors than watching TV or playing bingo.
Some examples of the social activities you might find at an assisted living facility include:
- Arts and crafts
- A class or a workshop
#2: Nutritious Meals With Friends
Communal dining is an excellent opportunity for residents at assisted living facilities to socialize over meals. In addition to mingling, they are also enjoying a delicious meal.
Healthy meals have become a huge part of senior dining. You will often find
- Vegetarian meals
as part of an assisted living facilitys daily menu.
#3: Housekeeping and Maintenance
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What Is The Staff
The staff-to-resident ratio in an assisted living facility varies depending on the state where the facility is located. In general, there is one staff member for every eight to 10 residents. The staff members at an assisted living facility include nurses, aides, and support staff, so you can rest assured your needs will be taken care of.
Types Of Assisted Living
The types of senior living and assisted living fall between an independent living community and a nursing home, in terms of levels of care offered. A typical assisted living home might offer 24-hour personal care monitoring and support services like medication administration or bathing, while providing more freedom and privacy than a nursing home.
Depending upon the state location of the assisted living facility, the most common types offered are three types:
- Assisted Living Facility Type I & Type II
- Small Health Care Facility – Type N
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Assisted Living Vs Nursing Home
Whats the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes?
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At some point, you or a loved one might need more regular or full-time care than you can handle at home. There are numerous long-term care solutions out there, including nursing homes and assisted living.
To decide which is right for your specific situation, start by identifying what level of care is needed. This guide untangles the differences between assisted living and nursing homes, the levels of care they each offer, who they’re best for, and how to know when it’s time to consider one.
Talking To A Loved One About Assisted Living
You may be dreading talking to your aging loved one about moving to assisted living. Elder care is often a difficult but important topic that families ultimately cant avoid.
Having conversations regularly about senior care before an emergency situation arises is often best. Planning ahead will give you and your family time to think about options and discuss what you need to do to prepare.
However, if your aging parent needs immediate help, its time to hold a family meeting. Consider your family dynamics to decide who to include. If your senior loved one is in good mental health, it may be a good idea to involve them.
Set aside dedicated time, without distractions, to discuss their needs and potential solutions. Its also important to be open to having a series of conversations before your family agrees on the right senior care choice.
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Can You Leave Assisted Living
- Policies and procedures vary among assisted living communities when it comes to residents leaving the building. In most cases, assisted living communities allow residents to come and go as they please, as long as they sign out. In an emergency situation, such as a fire, the assisted living community needs to know who is in the building and who is not. Signing out helps the assisted living communities keep residents safe and accounted for.
What Are Some Red Flags To Look Out For When Touring An Assisted Living Facility
When touring assisted living facilities, you need to be very observant about the surroundings and services. You dont just want to look for things you like, as you want to keep an eye out for red flags. Stay away from facilities that have:
- A lack of security measures
- Staff who are not available 24 hours a day
- A lack of activities or amenities
- An unclean or unsafe environment
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Contracts And Costs Are The Final Factors To Consider
Once youve decided on an assisted living community, youll be required to sign a contract outlining the services the assisted living facilities provide. It would be best if you take your time and thoroughly review the contracts terms and conditions carefully. Dont be afraid to ask questions if you have any doubts. Seniors assisted living facilities can more easily avoid their responsibilities if there are unclear or missing details. It would be best if you didnt compromise on the care, nourishment, and security of your dearest ones.
Supporting A Loved One As They Move To Assisted Living
A move to assisted living, even if all parties are in agreement, can be a stressful time. Here are some of the ways you can support a loved one:
Acknowledge your loved ones feelings of loss. Even in the best of situationswhere your loved one willingly chose assisted livinggrief and feelings of loss are to be expected. Leaving ones home is a huge upheaval. Dont minimize their feelings or focus excessively on the positive. Sympathize and respect feelings of loss and give them time to adjust.
Regular contact from friends and family will reassure your loved one that theyre still loved and cared for. Continue to include your loved one in family outings and events whenever possible. If your loved one lives far away, regular calls or emails can make a big difference.
Work through concerns together. While your loved one will likely go through a period of adjustment after moving into an assisted living facility, dont automatically assume that complaints are just part of the transition process. If your loved one has concerns, take them seriously. Talk about what steps you can take together to resolve the issue. And if the problem turns out to be a big one with no apparent solution, be prepared to look at other facilities.
Get more help
Moving to Assisted Living Care How to ease the transition from home to assisted living.
Assisted Living Facilities Checklist Checklist of questions to ask when evaluating an assisted living facility.
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Does Assisted Living Include Meals
While some facilities charge extra for different types of meal services, most communities will include three cooked meals per day as part of your base price.
Pro Tip: Remember to always ask communities youre interested in for their specific list of available services. These will also help make it easier to compare communities side by side when it comes time to make a decision.
In the United States, there are approximately 30,000 assisted living communities with nearly one million licensed beds. While the average number of licensed beds per assisted living community is 33, many communities include more than 100 beds.
In any given assisted living community, you may find private studio, one-bedroom, and dorm-style apartments. Most often, these single-unit spaces include private restrooms and a small area for cooking or food storage. You can even find locations that include full-sized kitchens. Sometimes these home-like residences come fully furnished. Others are unfurnished, allowing you to make your space your own.
Is Assisted Living Covered By Insurance
Most health insurance policies dont provide coverage for assisted living. However, if you have long-term care insurance, your policy may cover assisted living costs. If you meet income eligibility requirements and you qualify as a wartime military veteran, you may also be able to receive a monthly monetary benefit to help pay for assisted living through the Veterans Administrations Aid and Attendance program.
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Does Long Term Care Insurance Cover Assisted Living
Long-term care insurance policies do cover assisted living care. However, there are some variances between policies and what they cover. Some policies cover care in a licensed only facility. Policy requirements may also include needing help with at least two or more ADLs before covering costs of assisted living. There may also be age eligibility. Make sure to check with the insurance provider regarding policy coverage and criteria.
See more about long-term insurance coverage of assisted living.
Does Medicare/medicaid Cover Assisted Living Or Independent Living
Medicare does not cover assisted living or independent living costs. However, Medicare can cover durable medical equipment or outpatient therapy services if there is a prescription for the services. Some assisted living communities accept Medicaid as payment, but the majority of communities charge an out-of-pocket fee each month.
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Differences In Medical And Supportive Care Services
Assisted living is a good alternative for people who are no longer able to live alone but do not need skilled nursing care. Residents are still active and independent, but they benefit from caregiver support and oversight. Independent living also enhances a seniors independence but does not provide access to medical or nursing care.
Independent living can offer some peace of mind to people who no longer feel comfortable living alone. People with medical conditions that do not undermine the basic activities of daily living may thrive in this environment. But when people are no longer able to tend to their basic needs, make good decisions on their own, or function without the help of loved ones, assisted living can offer that support.
Services Provided By Independent Living For Seniors
It doesnt matter how old you are everyone needs to be sure they are receiving adequate medical attention. Older adults, who may otherwise be in good health, may suddenly develop medical issues or get ill for no apparent reason. Make that the facilitys care services address the physical and medical needs of your senior loved ones.
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Who Is Not Recommended For Assisted Living Facilities
To ensure the safety of all residents, and yours as well, certain people are discouraged from entering assisted living facilities for seniors. These include:
- Those who require constant medical care
- Those who are a danger to themselves or others
- Those who need a high level of assistance with activities of daily living
If you or your loved one fall into any of the categories, its best to seek residence from a facility that offers dedicated staffs or caregivers to each residence, such as a nursing home.
What Is The Difference Between Assisted Living Vs A Nursing Home
Many confuse the terms assisted living facility vs. a nursing home. In fact, many use it interchangeable, or use one term to refer to the other. But an assisted living facility is not the same as a nursing home. Nursing homes provide a higher level of care for people who are unable to live independently. Assisted living facilities provide a lower level of care and allow residents to maintain their independence.
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Transportation To And From Appointments
Aside from forgetfulness, seniors may have issues standing up from a seated position, sitting up. There are cases when seniors should not be driving, and they can put their safety at risk if they do so. With the transportation services at assisted living facilities, scheduling a ride is super easy and stress-free. Our residences include transportation services to help seniors get to and from their destinations safely.
An Investment In The Future
A move into assisted living is a move into a lifestyle that promotes healthy senior living and opens up a plethora of options for the future if needs should change over time. Each resident has an individualized, custom care plan that is regularly evaluated by a medical team, ensuring that any change in health is noticed as it happens, resulting in early diagnosis and, inevitably, better treatment options.
Residents in assisted living communities have access to PrimeFit, a nationally branded fitness program, specifically designed for seniors. With personal training sessions, group fitness, and even access to BrainHQ, a brain fitness class, seniors in assisted living live healthier than ever.
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Learn About Assisted Living
Maintaining independence is important for people as they age. In fact, losing it is one of the biggest fears seniors have. An overwhelming majority want to remain in their houses and understandably so. But the reality is that 1 in 5 U.S. adults age 85+ say they either need or currently receive help with activities of daily living . Is there a way to get that kind of help and still be as independent as possible? Yes its called assisted living.
Actually, this level of care has several names. Certain states license services under terms such as residential care or personal care, but although there are important distinctions between the different licenses, the level of care associated with each is designed to offer necessary support so residents can enjoy optimal levels of independence.
Assisted Living Vs Other Types Of Senior Housing
Assisted living may be considered an intermediate stage between independent living and nursing home care. If you only need minimal assistance, independent living might be a better choice. If you have a lot of medical needs, you would need to consider nursing homes or other facilities with skilled medical care.
For more information, read Senior Housing Options.
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