For many, assisted living is a fact of growing older and admitting that you could benefit from more help. But some myths of assisted living continue to exist despite the growth in the number of communities around the country.
The term assisted living is broad. It refers to a residential facility that provides some care services but does not offer full-time skilled care. Facility standards vary by state and even by city.
In some places, assisted living homes look like single-family homes with one or two residents. In other states, they are large-scale communities with residents who range from fully-independent to those who need extra care.
What is assisted living and will it help you take the next step? Keep reading to learn what to expect from assisted living services.
Assisted Living Offers Tiered Services
Residents of an assisted living facility range from those who are entirely independent to those who need extensive dementia and memory care.
Each facility offers a vast array of services typically provided on an a la carte basis. Some of the more general services provided include:
- Emergency call systems
- 24-hour access to care
- Personal care for daily activities
- Housekeeping services
- Laundry services
- On-site amenities including pharmacies, physical therapists, and doctors
- Meal plans
- Social calendars for entertainment, activities, and wellness
- Transportation options
You might choose to include one or two services or a full package depending on your desires, needs, and how the packages offered.
For example, some assisted living communities offer full apartments complete with kitchens. Others forgo kitchens and encourage everyone to eat together in a group setting. In those cases, residents buy a room and board package.
Each Assisted Living Community Is Unique
There is no blueprint plan for assisted living facilities. The uniting cause tying them together is the goal of promoting and enabling independence. At the same time, it also provides necessary assistance with health care.
Once you arrive, you’ll notice that every facility fulfills its mission in a different way. So, it’s essential to get to know the property’s underlying ethos before deciding to move in.
For example, some assisted living centers expect regular facetime from all the residents. Others are more private and don’t offer as many opportunities for manufactured socialization.
Communities also scale in the number and type of non-medical amenities. Luxury senior living is one of the fastest growing trends in the industry. It focuses on those who want their golden years to be as opulent as their working years.
You’ll also find these communities offer:
- cutting-edge therapists
- high-end apartments
- gourmet dining options
- concierge services
- spa and fitness services
Assisted Living Is Less Expensive Than Other Care
Assisted living wraps up housing costs with care costs. Doing so simplifies things for those who rely more heavily on things like personal care or daily health aide visits.
Generally, the average cost of assisted living facilities in most states is less than the cost of a regular home-health aide. It is also about half the price of nursing home care.
The average monthly cost of an assisted living facility in the United States is $3,500 per month. The $3,500 includes all bills, utilities, care, and fees.
On the other hand, someone paying for housekeeping services, meal help, and daily health aide visitations could spend over $7,000 in total when you factor in their mortgage.
Of course, costs scale according to where you live, what facility you choose, and the level of care you need. However, you share the cost of the visits with the rest of the community. Sharing those costs across the community places less of the financial burden on you.
Early Stage Dementia Patients Are Well Catered For
A unique care option exists within assisted living that allows dementia patients to remain in a home setting and allowing them to scale their care as needed. Assisted living is a popular choice for long-term care for this patient group because it blurs the line between nursing home care and remaining at home.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 50 percent of residents in assisted living and nursing homes live with a form of dementia or cognitive impairment.
Researchers argue that an assisted living setting is preferred for early dementia patients because it offers meaningful social engagement. It is a space where interactions can be with the resident – not done to or for them.
Assisted living communities supporting dementia patients offer memory care units on site. These units provide skilled nurses who work with all types of dementia, cognitive impairments, and other memory issues.
Sometimes, these units are fully integrated with the rest of the community. Many communities place memory care residents on a separate floor or wing.
Distinct floors or wings often accommodate dementia patients by using a physical layout better suited to advancing dementia. These layouts make the area more navigable for memory care patients.
Essentially, memory care patients receive the services listed above like personal care or health aide visits as well as access to nurses specially trained to work with dementia patients.
What Is Assisted Living? It’s Whatever You Need
So what is assisted living? Assisted living caters to all types of people from those who benefit from being in an openly social living environment. It also provides a transition for dementia patients who see their independence slipping away.
Whether you need a house with better access or need a bit of extra daily help, assisted living facilities simplify aging by ensuring help – if you need it – is right around the corner.
Is it time to start considering a transition to a more supported lifestyle? Visit one of our communities in Bellaire or Largo to see if our community is right for you. Click here to request a tour.