In assisted living, residents who can live independently with a bit of extra support can receive the help they need with daily self-care and routine tasks such as cooking and cleaning. With these responsibilities covered, residents have ample time to socialize and enjoy community amenities and activities. These facilities also provide an added sense of security as staff is available around the clock to respond in the event of an emergency.
Senior communities provide residents with opportunities for social, physical and mental engagement that are crucial to maintaining a high quality of life.
To find assisted living near you, search the AgingCare.com Assisted Living Directory. Have a Care Advisor assist your family with making senior living arrangements. This service is provided free of charge.
Individuals who need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing and grooming, toileting, continence control, walking and transferring, and eating, can benefit greatly from transitioning to an assisted living community. However, this care setting does not provide full-time skilled nursing services. Those who need a higher level of care may want to consider nursing home placement instead.
For the most part, assisted living facilities (ALFs) offer the following services, but amenities can vary from community to community. Be sure to ask when touring.
|Room and Housing|
One-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartments with basic housekeeping, maintenance/repair and laundry services.
Some apartments have kitchens. Three or more meals per day may be available in the dining room, or meals may be delivered to the resident’s apartment.
|Assistance with ADLs|
Eating, bathing, dressing, medication management, diabetes management, incontinence care and personal care are provided.
Pharmacy, physical therapy, memory care, nurses onsite and/or home health care available.
Some facilities may feature gyms and swimming pools and may even offer exercise programs and fitness classes.
Common areas for socializing, a beauty salon, library, computer room, TV room, garden area, book clubs, cooking classes, crafts, games and religious services are typically included.
Some do allow small pets.
Provided for errands, appointments and community outings. Parking is available for resident automobiles.
ALFs offer mobility assistance and accept residents who use wheelchairs.
Staff are available 24 hours per day.
Family and friends can attend meals or stay overnight.
Board and care is typically paid for through private funds. Some communities may be certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to receive payment through Medicaid, but this care option is not usually covered by Medicare. While the cost of senior living can seem daunting, keep in mind that assisted living may be more cost-effective than hiring 24/7 in-home care or a live-in caregiver.
All of the sources of funds below can be used to pay for assisted living:
The costs can vary significantly depending on a number of factors including size of the apartment, services and amenities selected, geographical location of the community, and contract options. Many facilities use a monthly base rate system which covers the cost of rent and a few core services such as meals, housekeeping and most utilities. Others may also require entrance fees, deposits and additional service fees. Understanding how prices are assessed at each potential facility is a crucial part of making a confident decision.
It is also important to note that costs may increase as your loved one ages and requires additional assistive services. A care plan can help you assess these needs and related costs, and it should be evaluated and updated at least annually.
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Selecting a senior living community for yourself or your loved one can be a complex decision. In addition to noting the type of community, provided services and amenities, and the way costs are assessed and paid, it is advisable to tour prospective options at least once. Touring senior communities is the best way to get a feel for what it will be like to live in each one. You will be able to interact with the staff, get feedback from current residents, see the grounds and accommodations in person, and even sample a meal from the dining room.
Inspection records as well as official and resident ratings and reviews are also important to take into consideration when making a selection. Weighing others’ experiences with the impressions you receive on tours will help you choose the right fit.
Here are a few steps to help you find the right assisted living community…
To learn more about assisted living, check out these articles written by elder care experts and experienced caregivers.