What is an assisted living community?
An assisted living facility is a community for seniors who cannot live independently. Assisted Living communities provide housing and supportive services to older adults who require assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, medication administration, mobility and more.
How is assisted living different from a nursing home?
Assisted living does not provide advanced, round-the-clock medical care, such as treatment for specific conditions or diseases like advanced Alzheimer’s.
Skilled nursing homes, on the other hand, are designed to house and assist individuals who have health conditions that require constant monitoring and round-the-clock availability of medical personnel. The assisted living facility will assess the elder to decide what kind of care his or her needs require.
When is it time to move to assisted living?
Assisted living is ideal for those who need some help in their daily lives, but don’t require the advanced medical care provided by a skilled nursing home or other institutional setting. It provides housing and services when it is no longer safe or practical for a senior to live alone in his or her home.
If you or your loved one cannot perform daily living tasks like bathing and dressing, cooking and eating; has mobility issues, needs access to medical care, or wants to live in a place that offers social activities with other like-minded seniors, assisted living is worth a look.
What is the cost of Assisted Living? Does Medicare pay for it?
Costs vary widely depending on what region you live in, and the level of care and services that the assisted living community will provide to you or your loved one. Residents of assisted living facilities use "private pay" to cover the costs. Some people use personal savings, pensions and/or social security to cover the costs. Some people also use long term care insurance. Medicare and other federal programs typically do not pay for the costs of assisted living.
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What can a new resident bring with them when they move in?
While different assisted living communities have different guidelines, you can bring personal items fill the new home, as well as some furnishings that fit into the apartment.
How big are the rooms? Can couples live together?
Room sizes can vary. There are studio apartments and one, two or three bedroom apartments. They have private bathrooms. Some even have kitchenettes. Couples usually can live together, but it is best to check with the facility first.
Do residents need their own car?
Many facilities allow residents to have cars if they are able to drive. However, assisted living facilities have transportation available for residents for doctor appointments, banking needs, etc.
Are pets allowed?
Some assisted living communities allow pets. It is best to check with the facility.
Can a senior be denied?
Once the facility assesses a person’s health, they will decide if he or she is a good candidate. If you or your loved one needs more care than assisted living provides, then you will most likely be referred to skilled nursing. Many assisted living communities have waiting lists, so be sure to get on the list before the need to move arises.
What if a resident doesn’t remember to take their medications?
The staff can assist with that. If you feel that your loved one needs assistance with remembering medication, talk to the nursing staff at the facility.
How do I know whether residents are well taken care of?
Look for an established assisted living community with a good reputation. Then, make sure family and/or friends are a regular presence in the facility. Develop relationships with the staff, if possible. Ask questions and maintain communication with the staff. That makes it easier to keep tabs on the care that a resident is receiving. Also, monitor your loved one’s behavior and ask specific questions about the amount of attention they receive from caretakers.
What happens if there is an emergency?
Most assisted living facilities have emergency call systems in every room. Another emergency device is a panic button. Residents may wear a necklace with a panic button that alerts the staff that there has been an emergency. In addition, residents are checked on multiple times per day since they need care for different things. Often, if a staff member has not seen a resident for awhile, he or she may pop in the room to check on them and make sure everything is okay.
What kind of security is there?
Fall prevention devices, locks, monitors, smoke detectors and other safety devices are standard at assisted living. In addition to having trained personnel on staff, assisted living communities typically have arrangements with a local hospital for emergencies.
Guests are required to sign in so that the facility knows who comes in and out of the building. Also, to ensure caregiving safety, staff members must pass a background check prior to being hired.
Brookdale Senior Living communities feature a Personalized Assisted Living facilities concept that tailors a residence program based on the individual’s needs. Find a Brookdale location near you!
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