Assisted Living homes are there to help people bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes.
These types of facilities are for people who need assistance with ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) but don’t require constant care. Residential care residences offer help with things like eating, bathing and dressing, laundry, preparing meals, housekeeping and medication. Assisted living was not designed as an alternative to a nursing home but rather, it was designed to assist elderly people who are able to care for themselves except for a few activities.
Most assisted living homes will create an individual service plan that has been personalized to accommodate the needs of each person. The cost of an assisted living home is less than that of a nursing home but is still relatively expensive. Some Health care and long-term care insurance policies may cover some of the costs but it is not covered by Medicare.
So, what’s the difference between living in your own home and living in an assisted living home? The biggest difference is the number of people living under one roof. You have the opportunity to be around other people your age where you can make new friends but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your privacy. Your apartment is your space. Friends and family can visit you, but you determine when. You may want to request a key to your apartment if you’d like some added privacy and security.
If you decide that assisted living is best for you, make sure to see the actual apartment you will be living in and ask the administrator or director what furnishings come with the apartment so that you will know what to bring. You may want to put your other belongings into storage or ask a family member to store them for you.
• Read all the materials about the residence before you make a commitment.
• Meet the administrator or director and staff before moving day.
• Review the paperwork and contract before you sign and move in so that your questions can be answered in advance.
• Pack wisely. Don’t bring everything.
• Get a list from the residence of suggested items to bring.
• Make sure you know the residence policies and familiarize yourself with them.
• If the residence is going to help you with your laundry, make sure to label your clothing.
• Read the activity schedule and choose two or three activities to attend so that you can meet your neighbors and other residents.
There are close to 1,000,000 Assisted Living Facilities throughout the US. So how do you find the right Assisted Living Home? It’s kind of like searching for the right college for your kid. It’s going to take a lot of research.
When searching the internet, you’ll find lots of "homey atmosphere," "fresh flowers," "gracious dining," "catered care," and "solarium and card room." Sure you want a clean, attractive setting. But fresh flowers in the reception area is not going to guarantee that Mom will get her prescription drugs on time, or that your spouse will receive care from staff members trained in working with people suffering from memory loss.
When you visit a facility, ask yourself these questions: Do the residents seem happy and comfortable? Is the staff professional? What kind of training have they had? Also, what are the quality of the meals and what services are offered on a 24-hour basis? Assisted living facilities are not fully regulated by the federal government and each state sets their own licensing requirements, regulations and inspection procedures. JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) and CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) are two of the primary accreditation organizations for assisted living facilities.