What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living or adult care facility is a housing and services option. This housing and services option provides seniors with needs of daily care assistance. Daily care assistance involves help in a wide range of daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, taking medications, and cleaning. These daily activities are provided by assisted living in order to allow the residents to live independent lives and improve their quality of life. Residents with medical care needs are not supported by assisted living but by nursing homes. Nursing homes offer assistance to people who do not need to be in a hospital but can’t be cared for at home.
Assisted living facilities, also known as adult care facilities or residential care facilities, are of different sizes, with the smallest ones housing 25 residents and the biggest ones catering to over 120 residents. Residents have their own sleeping quarters or apartments with an assisted living facility. On the other hand, assisted living share common areas.
Assisted Living Services
There are several assisted living services provided for the residents, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA, under the National Institutes of Health, is a federal agency leader in research on aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The NIA states that assisted living services can vary depending on the location or state and may include the following:
- Up to three meals a day
- Personal care assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) such as bathing, eating, dressing, getting in and out of bed or chairs, moving around, and using the bathroom
- Medication assistance
- 24-hour supervision, security, and on-site staff
- Social and recreational activities
- Medical services
- Meal services
Types Of Assisted Living
There are different types of assisted living, such as sheltered housing, continuing-care retirement communities, and memory-care assisted living.
Sheltered housing is smaller housing for residents that prefer living independently and managing a smaller house. Sheltered housing features assistance from a warden or support staff, a round-the-clock emergency alarm system, communal areas like gardens or lounges, and social activities for residents. Social activities are beneficial to reduce social isolation for residents. Residents can also receive personal-care support, housekeeping services, and meals.
Sheltered housing is available to rent or buy, and its charges are based on a sliding scale. Sheltered housing may cost up to 30% of the resident’s income. The resident’s family may also pay council tax, water rates, and energy bills aside from the regular service charge. The regular service charge covers contributions to communal repairs and cleaning, grounds maintenance, servicing and maintaining any lifts and security systems, building insurance, and support services like scheme manager and emergency alarm.
Continuing-Care Retirement Communities
Continuing-care retirement communities (CCRC) offer a variety of living options. These options range from apartments or condominiums to assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. These options depend on the needs of residents. Residents are provided with health care by CCRC through three financial models. The first model is the all-inclusive model. The all-inclusive model offers total health care coverage and long-term care. The second model is the fee-for-service model. The fee-for-service model provides levels of care based on the payments provided. The third model is the modified coverage model. The modified coverage model is a model that covers long-term care. This long-term care is provided to a preestablished maximum amount of residents.
Residents can enjoy different amenities and services offered by CCRC, such as professional health services, commercial services, and community services. Professional health services include physician and nursing care, skilled nursing care, assisted living care, memory care, assistance with activities of daily living (ADL), physical and occupational therapy, onsite pharmacy, dental services, and mental health and nutritional counseling. Commercial services include barber and beauty salons, cable and internet, coffee shops, postal service, retail and food shops, banking services, private dining room, home repairs and maintenance, transportation to medical appointments, security, housekeeping, and laundry. Community services include walking trails, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a golf course or putting green, a fitness center, a library, a craft room, a game room, garden plots or a greenhouse, and an art and music studio.
CCRC has different types of continuing care offered. These types are based on the level of need of residents. The first type is independent living. Independent living the usually the first phase when older residents are healthy and do not need assisted living services. Residents can enjoy the CCRC amenities and maintenance-free benefits. The second type is assisted living. Assisted living provides round-the-clock access to medical and custodial care. The next type is memory care. Memory care deals with seniors experiencing memory loss due to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive impairments. Another type is skilled nursing care. Skilled nursing care offers 24-hour medical and custodial care for short-term care and rehabilitation.
Memory Care Assisted Living
Memory care assisted living is specialized care for residents who are suffering from memory loss. Memory loss is usually because of mental diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive impairments. Memory care assisted living focuses on assessing and treating residents with social and medical needs that are specific to dementia and cognitive impairment.
Memory care assisted living facility provides activities that center on cognitive and physical stimulation for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. These activities include the following:
- Art therapy for increased self-expression
- Chair yoga or tai chi exercises for balance improvement and muscle strength
- Music therapy for mood and emotion booster
- Crafting activities like knitting, coloring, collages, and ceramics for sensory stimulation
- Mental health therapy for depression or anxiety
- Group walks for social interaction
- Games like bingo, dominos, and checkers for fine motor skill encouragement
Financial Assistance For Assisted Living
Financial assistance for assisted living is provided by Medicaid. Medicaid is a state-based health coverage program that targets low-income seniors and their families. Low-income seniors can qualify for Medicaid by meeting several requirements, including income lower than the state’s Medicaid income limit, countable assets within acceptable ranges, permanent U.S. residency, current residency in the state, and medical needs.
Medicaid covers services such as personal care services, assistance with activities of daily living, on-site therapy services, and medication management. Other care services that Medicaid covers are long-term care from assisted living communities and residential care homes, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, home health services, prescription drugs, physical, occupational, or speech therapy, eyeglasses and hearing aids, personal care services, hospice care, and co-pays for hospitalization and skilled nursing care.
How Do I Choose An Assisted Living Community?
There are several factors to consider in choosing an assisted living community or assisted living facility. First is the location. The location must be accessible and close to you for easy transportation arrangements for your senior loved one.
The next factor to consider is the size of the community. The size of the community must be a good fit for your senior loved one, and must also check the amenities offered, such as recreation rooms, in-house barbers, chapels, and dining facilities.
Another factor to consider is the services. There are services that are important to your senior loved one, such as transportation to worship and doctor appointments, a full staff of trained registered nurses, access to physical therapists and physical activities, counseling services, and financial counseling and services for bills payment.
The next factor to consider is culture. Culture is necessary for your senior loved one’s happiness. Your senior loved one’s happiness is reflected in the friendships and social relationships made with other seniors and staff.
One more factor to consider is the cost. The cost of assisted living arrangements can be expensive. You must choose the best-assisted senior living community you can afford for your senior loved one.
How Does Assisted Living Support Seniors?
Assisted living support seniors by providing personalized care in a residential setting. Seniors can receive high levels of care and support depending on the health assessment by the community as per the regulations of the state. Assisted living also allows seniors to achieve a healthy lifestyle and social engagement.
Assisted living offers services such as medication management, assistance in using the bathroom, dressing, grooming, housekeeping or doing household chores, meal preparation, laundry, and transportation services.
What Are Assisted Living Requirements?
There are several requirements for assisted living. The first requirement is to gather and sign the forms and agreements. Forms and agreements may include admission applications, consent to release medical information, facility policies, legal certificates, costs and care information, physician’s or health care provider’s orders, patient’s consent for care forms, criminal background forms, and other state-required forms.
The next requirement is the medical history. The medical history of the senior loved one will be checked by the admissions coordinator, which includes the height, weight, allergies, any diagnosis, and others.
Another requirement is assessments. There are different assessments that will be done to create a care plan that best suits the loved one’s needs. They are level-of-care assessments, medication management, mental condition assessments, ADL or activities of daily living assessments, and sensory assessments.
One more requirement is the care plan. The care plan is created specifically for the senior’s needs. It is made up of an initial health assessment and regularly updated health assessments. The care plan may also include information on the types of medicine needed, frequency of medical assistance needed, type of diet needed, activities, equipment or supplies needed, personal goals, and other preferences.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
Assisted living costs are different from one area to another. The average cost ranges from $4,500 to $8,000 base price per month, depending on the number of occupants and the size of the living space. Additional charges may be added to the base price depending on the level of care provided to the senior.
For more information on Assisted Living services contact Specialized Home Care today.