Assisted living facilities offer a type of housing designed for people who need various levels of medical and personal care. Living spaces can be individual rooms, apartments, or shared quarters. The facilities generally provide a home-like setting and are physically designed to promote the resident’s independence. Assisted living facilities offer residents assistance with their daily activities and the security of around-the-clock staff. At the same time, residents are able to maintain an appropriate level of independence. This makes assisted living a good fit for many seniors who are beginning to have health challenges.
What Services Do Assisted Living Communities Provide?
The services offered by assisted living communities vary from facility to facility. Services often include:
- One to three meals a day
- Monitoring of medication
- Personal care, including dressing and bathing
- Housekeeping and laundry
- 24-hour emergency care
- Some medical services
- Social and recreational activities
While exploring the best assisted living environment for yourself or your loved one, make it a point to assure that the residence meets local and/or state licensing requirements and that the facility’s policy on insurance and personal property is clearly stated. Assure that the facility has specific procedures for responding to medical emergencies. Arrange for a thorough needs assessment and establish how often a reassessment will be done. Many find it extremely important that visitors be allowed to visit at any time.
Visit the facilities you are considering more than once. Make personal judgments about the staff — Do they appear to be appropriately trained? Are they appropriately dressed? Do they appear to have warm, familiar interactions with residents? Are they available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs? Are they trained to assist residents who experience memory, orientation or judgment losses?
Of utmost importance, do residents socialize with each other and appear happy and comfortable? Do residents, other visitors, and volunteers speak favorably about the facility? Do the residents seem to be appropriate housemates for you or your loved one?