Assisted living is a care community designed for seniors who would like to live independently but need some assistance with daily tasks. Assisted living communities don’t provide comprehensive medical care and typically don’t have nurses or doctors on staff.
Caregivers working at assisted living facilities are certified in first aid and CPR and trained to assist seniors with daily living activities, such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, grooming, toileting, and dressing. Assisted living communities are a great relief to family members who can rest easy knowing their loved one is being supervised 24 hours a day.
Who Needs Assisted Living?
A senior may need assisted living if the following signs are present:
- Falling behind on household chores
- Rotting food in the refrigerator
- Pets aren’t properly cared for
- Soiled clothing
- Poor sanitation
- Inability to wash their hair, brush their teeth, and perform other basic daily care activities
- Difficulty participating in conversations
- Significant emotional or personality swings
- Unintended weight fluctuations
- Unpaid bills
- Difficulty walking or balancing
If a senior is experiencing any of these difficulties, an assisted living facility can help improve their quality of life and overall well being.
What’s Included In Assisted Living?
An assisted living facility may range from a house or small building with a few bedrooms, to a large senior living campus with multiple buildings and hundreds of bedrooms. All facilities, however, offer the same amount of privacy available in standard apartment complexes. Rooms are decorated in a calming style to ensure maximum comfort.
Seniors in assisted living facilities may receive the following accommodations and services:
- Private or shared living rooms
- Assistance with daily living activities
- Social activities
- Intensive memory care
- 24-hour trained staff
Most assisted living communities offer private and semi-private, or shared rooms. The living environment is flexible and doesn’t have a set schedule for meal times and recreational activities. Residents of assisted living facilities are encouraged, but not required, to participate in activities such as bingo games, movie nights, exercise classes, and other physical and mental development programs.
Most assisted living communities also offer some form of transportation services for residents who need help getting to medical appointments, religious events, and/or group outings organized by the community.
Benefits of Assisted Living For Seniors
Assisted living communities offer many benefits to seniors who need some help in their day-to-day activities. The benefits include:
- Safe environment
- Wide variety of recreational activities designed to reduce loneliness and foster community
- Full-time care and support
- Reliable home maintenance and cooking assistance
- Variety of assisted living options
- Privacy and comfort
Cost of Assisted Living
The cost of assisted living communities will vary depending on location, amenities, and level of care (typically determined by the number of staff members). Some facilities will also offer a 24-hour night aide available to assist seniors throughout the night. Assisted living communities are paid for by seniors’ private funds or by their family members. Medicare, Social Security, and other government programs typically don’t cover the costs of care at assisted living facilities.