As more Baby Boomers age, the number of older adults in the United States grows. Estimates are that by 2050, the older population will be more than 80 million. This is up from 35 million in 2000.
To keep up with the needs of this increasing population, more assisted living facilities are likely to arise. These may range from tiny facilities to stand-alone locations to housing within a larger care community.
Assisted living can be a great option for seniors who need help with activities of daily living but also want to maintain their independence. It is also best for those who have in-home care costs and concerns and would rather have someone close by in case they need help. It is important to find an assisted living facility that is right for you or your loved one. You will also want to consider the cost of care and how you will pay for it.
What is Senior Assisted Living?
What is the Difference Between an Assisted Living Facility and a Retirement Home?
What Does Senior Assisted Living Provide?
When to Consider Assisted Living?
How Do I Choose an Assisted Living Facility?
Are There Assisted Living Facilities for Seniors with Disabilities?
Who is in Charge of My Medication at a Facility?
What Do I Need to Know About Moving into a Facility?
Assisted living care for seniors is a type of care that helps seniors with activities of daily living. This can include help with bathing, dressing, eating, moving, using the restroom, and more. Assisted living can be provided in a facility or in the senior's own home.
With assisted living, seniors can still live independently while getting the help they need to ensure their safety at all times. They are provided with personalize adult care in a residential surrounding and environment. If you’re thinking about joining senior citizen assisted living facilities, here are some of the things you will need to know.
Senior assisted living costs will vary depending on the type of facility, location, level of care needed and services offered. In general, assisted living costs more than independent living but less than nursing home care. The average cost of assisted living in the United States is between $4,000 to $5,000 per month.
It is important to ask and know cost of care and inclusion of service when you are considering an assisted living facility. There are several ways to pay for assisted living.
You or your family pays for the cost of care out of pocket.
This is a government program that will help pay for the cost of care if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for benefits to help pay for the cost of assisted living.
This is insurance that can help pay for the cost of long-term care, including assisted living.
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.
Another term often mixed up with assisted living facilities is hospice care. Hospice care is a type of end-of-life care. It is for people who are terminally ill and have a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice care focuses on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure.
Assisted living, on the other hand, is a type of long-term care. It is for people who need help with activities of daily living but who want to maintain their independence. Assisted living can be a good option for seniors who are no longer able to live independently. They are not, however, terminally ill or require high levels of medical assistance.
Unlike an assisted living facility, a retirement home is a type of housing that is designed for seniors who are able to live independently. Retirement homes typically do not offer the same level of care or services as an assisted living facility. You can think of assisted living facilities as a step-up (in terms of care and supervision) from retirement homes.
In order to find the right facility and services for you, you need to know the difference between a senior citizen assisted living facility vs. a nursing home vs. hospice care vs. retirement home. Opting for the correct type ensures you get the care, attention, and facilities you need to maintain your quality of life better.
Since each person has different requirements and capabilities, there are levels of care to be aware of to get a sense of how much help will be given. Understanding the levels of care is essential if the level will be able to provide the required attention and support a senior adult will need.
Seniors in Level 1 senior citizen assisted living facilities can perform most, if not all daily activities with minimal to no assistance from others. It’s best for those who require assistance only for certain things (such as going to the bathroom) or to remind them to do a task (like take their medicine).
Level 2 senior citizen residents need slightly more help than those in Level 1. These residents need assistance with some basic daily activities but are still fairly independent. They may need regular supervision when performing tasks.
Level 3 residents require the most amount of care. They have difficulties performing daily tasks and may even need a dedicated caregiver.
Assisted living facilities provide housing, personal care, and support services to seniors who need help with activities of daily living. These facilities are typically staffed by nurses and other trained professionals who can provide assistance with medications, bathing, dressing, and other needs. Residents of assisted living facilities usually have their own private apartments or rooms and are able to come and go as they please.
Assisted living facilities offer a variety of services to help seniors with their daily needs. These services can include:
There are many benefits of assisted living for seniors.
Assisted living can help seniors live a full and independent life. It provides you with a semblance of your current life with the added convenience of having people on-site who are ready to help you with tasks you can no longer do yourself.
There are many different types of activities available in communities that offer assisted living for older adults. While the exact kinds of activities will vary per facility, some of the more common activities offered to most are:
Assisted living communities offer a variety of activities to keep residents engaged and active. Some even offer the latest fitness crazes such as Zumba and a lighter variety of Pound classes.
It’s understandable to have concerns about your safety and security, especially if you’re planning to move to an assisted living facility by yourself. Rest assured that senior assisted living care facilities are safe. All assisted living facilities are required to follow state and federal regulations. These regulations ensure that residents are safe and that their rights are protected.
When you are considering an assisted living facility, it is important to ask about the security and safety features and procedures. You will also want to tour the facility and meet the staff. This will help you get a better sense of the safety of the facility.
There is no one right time to move into an assisted living facility. It is a decision that should be made based on your individual needs and preferences. However, many people choose to move into assisted living when they can no longer live independently. This can be due to age, illness, or disability.
If you are in need of help with daily living activities but also who want to have a sense or maintain a level of independence, considering a assisted living facility may be a wise option It is also a good option for those who do not need the level of care offered in a nursing home.
If you are starting to have difficulties with everyday tasks or would rather have someone around to guide and assist you, senior citizen living facilities is right for you.
To ensure the safety of all residents, and yours as well, certain people are discouraged from entering assisted living facilities for seniors. These include:
If you or your loved one fall into any of the categories, it’s best to seek residence from a facility that offers dedicated staffs or caregivers to each residence, such as a nursing home.
Choosing an assisted living facility is tough. To ensure peace of mind, many people rely on personal recommendations and referrals. If you have a friend or acquaintance in a local facility, stop by and get their take. Most people are happy to give you a candid, no-nonsense assessment of the pros and cons of each place.
Some specific criteria can help with sorting out options:
In finding the best facility, experts note it’s not only about what’s on paper or online.
A facility is going to become your new home, and place of care, comfort, and ease. Finding the best match for you means the place must line up with your personal values. This may be values such as: community, location, orientation, and focus on well-being.
Finding the place that works for you and your loved one may take some intensive work and consideration.
Once you decide on the top few, many experts advise contemplation and reflection. This is going to be the next home for you or your loved one. Making sure this is the decision that you feel is right for you can make the transition easier and smoother.
To ensure the safety of all its residents, senior citizen assisted living facilities are expected to comply with strict state and federal regulations. When you are considering an assisted living facility, you should ask about the following:
All assisted living facilities must be certified by the state in which they operate.
Assisted living facilities must have all the required permits.
All assisted living facilities are required to pass regular inspections.
You can contact your state's department of health to learn more about the certification and permitting process for assisted living facilities.
An assisted living facility for seniors is typically a large building that is designed to provide a variety of services and amenities to residents. The facility will have a variety of common areas, including a dining room, living room, and recreation room. Each resident will have their own private bedroom and bathroom.
If you have more specific health concerns, such as blindness, deafness, or even memory loss, and are worried about the level of care you will be receiving from an assisted living facility for seniors, you can opt for specialized facilities instead.
There are facilities that are specifically designed to assist seniors with disabilities. These facilities offer a variety of services and accommodations to meet the needs of residents with disabilities. For instance, one that caters for wheelchair-bound residents may have ramps and elevators all throughout the facility, or perhaps ones that specialize in deaf care will have lights in place of doorbells in residents’ rooms.
There are assisted living facilities that cater to seniors who are wheelchair dependent or have urinary incontinence. These facilities offer a variety of services and accommodations to meet the needs of residents with these conditions.
When you are considering an assisted living facility, it is important to ask about the services and accommodations that are available for residents with disabilities. You will also want to tour the facility and meet the staff. This will help you get a better sense of the facility and whether it is a good fit for your needs.
If your health needs change, you may need to move to a different type of long-term care facility. For example, if you develop Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive impairments, you may need to move to a memory care facility. If your health needs are too complex for an assisted living facility, you may need to move to a nursing home.
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.
There is typically an on-site nurse or doctor at an assisted living facility. The medical staff at the facility will provide routine care and treatment to residents. If a resident needs more specialized care, they will be referred to a specialist or hospital.
Eating well is important, especially as you age. This is why the food served at an assisted living facility is typically nutritious and well-balanced. Meals are often served family-style in the dining room. Residents can also request special diets if they have dietary restrictions.
The staff at the facility is in charge of dispensing medication to residents. Medications will be given to residents as prescribed by their doctor.
Visiting hours at an assisted living facility are typically from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. However, some facilities may have different visiting hours or allow visitors to stay overnight in a guest room.
Some of the security measures that may be in place at an assisted living facility include security cameras, alarms, and staff on duty 24 hours a day.
It’s natural to want to ask some questions when choosing an assisted living facility. There are some questions which you MUST ask, however. These include:
When touring assisted living facilities, you need to be very observant about the surroundings and services. You don’t 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:
Yes, you will sign a lease when you move into an assisted living facility. The length of the lease may vary with some having a per-month lease while others per-year.
When moving into an assisted living facility, you will need to bring some personal belongings with you. This may include clothes, toiletries, bedding, and favorite photos or mementos. You will also need to have any medications that you take with you.
Yes, you may be able to customize your apartment to some extent. For example, you may be able to bring your own furniture and decorations.
Yes, you can leave the facility at any time! However, if you have cognitive impairments or require assistance with activities of daily living, you may need to have someone accompany you when you leave the facility.
Yes, you may be able to bring or use your own car at a senior living facility. However, you will need to check with the facility beforehand to see if there are any restrictions.
Some assisted living facilities provide transportation for residents. This may include van service or scheduled outings.
If you need to go to the hospital, the staff at the assisted living facility will help make arrangements for your care. They will also be the ones who will contact your family or loved ones in your behalf.
No, there is no limit to how long you can stay in an assisted living facility.
If you or a loved one is considering senior assisted living care, we hope this article has been helpful. We want to make sure that everyone has all the information they need to make the best decision for their needs. If you need any more help making a decision, check out our other useful articles on Senior Assistance Club!