You, like millions of Americans,Somewhat of a catch-all phrase, assisted living represents a large array of residential care facilities.
You, like millions of Americans, may be trying to decide how to best care for aging parents. You may think your only options include having them move in with your or sending them to a nursing home. This is not the case. In the past 25 years, care facilities for elders who are not in need of full nursing home care have been popping up all over the nation. Assisted Living centers create an alternative elder care living circumstance for you to consider.
Assisted Living centers provide various personal care services including transportation, housekeeping, laundering, and daily meals. Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, personal grooming, dressings, and toileting are also available on an as needed basis. Medication management is typically offered, along with 24 hour emergency assistance. Activities and field trips that promote social interaction are common. Many facilities provide physical fitness opportunities, worship services, shuttle services, and more.
Assisted Living facilities differ significantly from nursing homes in their living arrangements. Whereas nursing homes tend to have a hospital feel where residents are housed in individual or shared rooms, Assisted Living centers generally offer a variety of apartment- or town home-style living arrangements. Residents have their own living quarters, often with bedroom, family, and kitchen/dining areas. They are welcome to have guests, decorate and furnish their homes, and use as many or as few of the offered services as they would like. Residents remain independent while having access to all these services and added security at the same time.
Somewhat of a catch-all phrase, assisted living represents a large array of residential care facilities. High acuity facilities are just one step down from a full nursing home. While residents do have more independence, they typically have simpler living quarters and full time care. On the other extreme, retirement communities can technically be referred to as assisted living communities depending on the services offered, the size of the community, and licensing regulations of the state in which they reside. Assisted living facilities can vary in size from a small residential home with a few residents to a large gated community with hundreds of residents.
Happily, Assisted Living centers have successfully filled the gap between full nursing home care and family-based home care. They have provided numerous options for elders and their caregivers, making it much easier to find arrangements in which loved ones can live independently and safely, even when 24 hour nursing care is not necessary.
Before Assisted Living centers were available, families were required to provide overwhelming care to loved ones or place them in independence-limiting nursing facilities.