What Is Assisted Living?
It is very common for seniors to start needing more assistance and help than what is provided from home in association with personal care. In most cases, the older individual might not require 24/7 medical supervision and skilled nursing that the nursing homes provide. If this is the case, then assisted living arrangements may be a worthwhile option to protect the privacy and independence of the older person for longer.
Is Assisted Living The Right Option For You?
ALFs (assisted living facilities) go by different names, including “residential care facilities” or “adult care facilities”. The ALFs are state-licensed, and since the federal government does not license these facilities, the quality controls and services provided also vary from one state to the next. Over 500,000 residents reside in ALFs, with these numbers expected to increase as the older population continues to age. Even though an ALF provides social models of care rather than medical ones, they offer residents meals and support staff and help with daily living activities such as bathing and dressing.
Seniors have many options when it comes to ALFs, which range from large and fancy accommodations to simple and smaller home-like environments. With the different types of ALFs on offer, people are able to choose a living arrangement that matches up to their financial situation, needs, and tastes. Many of the assisted living facilities offer private apartments or rooms. The special care units focusing on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have also started to become a lot more common.
ALFs usually provide a range of services, which include some of the following:
• 24/7 staffing that matches up to the needs of unscheduled and scheduled requirements of residents
• Laundry and housekeeping
• Social services
• Meals and recreation
• Assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living)
• Health-related services
Assisted Living Types
1. Group Homes
Group homes are apartments or houses where unrelated residents live together. This also includes domiciliary care (where an older adult remains in a community when they move in with a caregiver), board-and-care homes, single-room occupancy-residences, and a few different types of group-living situations. The group homes will also vary according to the resident types that live there. For instance, some accommodate residents with dementia or a chronic mental illness.
2. Adult Foster Care
The foster care facilities typically provide board, room, and a degree of assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living). The care will be provided by paid caregivers or a sponsoring family that usually lives on the property. Adult foster care homes provide the benefit of maintaining frail older adults in an environment that is more home-like.
A sheltered housing facility is usually a type of home that provides housekeeping services, meals, and personal-care support. Social work services, along with coordinating activities are often added to the program. Charges to a client are typically based on sliding scales that can cost as much as 30% of their income.
4. Continuing-Care Retirement Communities
Some seniors choose to reside in a CCRC (continuing care retirement community). These are communities that provide different living arrangements that range from condominiums or apartments to AL (assisted living) and then onto skilled nursing-home care.
Compare the Costs
of Assisted Living vs Staying at Home
View the costs of assisted living compared to staying at home
using our cost calculator tool
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