Is assisted living on the list of options your senior loved ones are considering for their future?
Should it be?
Did you know that more than one million seniors currently live in an assisted living facility?
What is an assisted living facility? According to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA):
Assisted living is a housing and health-care option that combines independence and personal care in a residential setting.
Assisted Living Facility Features
- Provide a long term living situation to meet the individual needs of each senior
- Depending of what is needed, these facilities can provide housing; healthcare; assistance with activities of daily living such as medication dispensing, bathing, grooming, household chores; congregate meals; activities to relieve boredom; socialization with peers; spiritual events; physical activities and social engagement
- Involve families in the care and progress of their senior loved ones
- Improve the independence of seniors as they transition from the home setting with increased assistance to improve their function
- Provide transportation to nearby shopping, health professionals and entertainment
- Some provide memory care services for those requiring more direction and assistance
- Provide home like setting with comfort and style maintaining privacy combined with a variety of amenities
- There is 24 hour assistance provided and may include security around the clock
- Cost will vary depending on the services your senior requires
- The resident is responsible for payment unless a long term care insurance plan is available to reimburse the cost of care
Assisted Living Facility Selection Considerations
- Location, available desired amenities such as beauty shop, meals that meet your seniors needs, caring staff, comfortable apartments, cost of services, pleasing atmosphere, welcoming staff, cleanliness, free of odors, well maintained grounds and common areas, and how are emergencies handled.
- Does the facility desire to maintain dignity and respect as well as the highest level of quality of life for your senior? Is your senior involved with the plan of care?
- Will your senior’s privacy be maintained?
- Do they offer choices to your senior, including meals, activities, and desired amenities to maintain their independence?
- Is the facility and its location safe?
- Do you understand and agree with the fees charged and facility policies?
- Are you fully aware of what might constitute unplanned discharge from the facility? What functional or behavioral changes will result in a discharge?
- Can seniors bring their own furniture and mementos?
- Are pets allowed?
- Does the dining program adjust for medical needs? Are between meal snacks offered? Can they eat when hungry or are there set meal times?
We speak with many seniors who are very happy and enjoying themselves in assisted living facilities. They are relieved of the burden of caring for their home, cooking their own meals or feeling lonely. There are fun activities and new people to spend time with every day.
Although it is true that many of our seniors wish to age in place but many who are struggling with living alone and needing more assistance to stay independent.
Whether you call it an assisted living facility, continuing care retirement facility, retirement home, residential care facility, congregate living facility, personal care home, or community residence, you may find that your senior will be happy to have made a change.
Careful investigation of facilities near you, visiting each center and speaking with staff and residents, and including your senior in the decision will make it a smoother transition for the entire family.
If you wish to learn more about assisted living facilities or to locate participating centers, contact ALFA.
Good luck in your family planning and transitions.