Assisted living communities are designed for older adults who are not able to manage living independently anymore and require more help with the daily activities of living such as dressing or bathing, but don’t need round-the-clock health care of a nursing home. Residents will need a little bit of help and assisted living is there to help them, while giving them freedom and independence. Assisted living communities give residents their own apartments and some common areas as well. They offer full-time supervision and many services, including daily meals, laundry and housekeeping, and also assistance with medications and personal care.
Assisted living aims to provide an active social environment where residents can enjoy the social interaction that will bring benefits to their mental well-being and overall health. This can include social and recreational activities, such as exercise and wellness programs, book clubs, and various trips to town.
These communities usually offer multiple levels of care depending on what the residents need. Assisted living communities come with some variations between them. So, you have to carry out a methodical search process and ask good questions to find the best fit for your loved one. Include your loved one in the decision-making process as well so they are kept involved in choices of care. Read on for a comprehensive family caregiver guide to assisted living!
Range of Assisted Living Services
The range of assisted living services can vary. Some of them offer independent living, while some offer specialized services for people with memory-related issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Some offer services for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities or medical conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease.
What to Look Out for on Your Visit
Once you’ve narrowed the search to a few communities with the price range and the services you are looking for, schedule a tour to take a look and talk with the team and residents. Bring your loved one with you and allow them to do as much of the decision-making as possible. It is recommended that you visit the community a few times. Arrange to be there during mealtimes and have lunch with residents, so you can have a better sense of what it is like to live there.
Here are some important things to look out for:
- Common areas, such as living rooms and dens
- An emergency generator or alternative power source in case of an outage
- A floor plan that’s logical and easy to follow
- Spacious rooms for your loved one
- Safety locks on doors and windows
- Rooms and bathrooms with emergency call buttons
- Services such as a salon or café
- Security and fire safety systems
- Well-lit hallways and stairs with well-marked exits
Ask questions about the team, including their qualifications and their training. During your visit, observe how the team interacts with residents.