Have you noticed that your loved one, maybe your mother or father, is having trouble with some basic activities such as bathing and dressing; a popular question on your mind might be "what is assisted living" and "can they provide the best care for my loved ones?"
There is a common misconception that assisted living is an end-of-care type situation wherein your loved one will require aggressive and around-the-clock treatment. Assisted living is much different from end-of-life care.
In general, assisted living refers to care services that are offered to individuals that can live independently for the most part. They may need help with a few things here and there such as bathing, eating, or medication management, but, in general, they have the ability to live without much overarching supervision.
What Is Assisted Living?
As mentioned above, assisted living refers to a care option in which residents receive help for certain minor hindrances that can impede their ability to live fully independently.
In general, assisted living facilities offer a social model of care rather than a medical one that is used for nursing homes and end-of-life care. Assisted living facilities offer residents access to a support staff, a meal plan, and assistance with certain daily living activities such as eating or dressing.
Assisted living facilities normally offer an array of services and amenities. Some of the common features that they offer include:
- 24-hour staffing
- Social activities
- Meal plan
Assisted living, in general, costs less than nursing home care. Health care and long-term care insurance policies can help cover and offset some of the costs, but Medicare does not cover the costs of assisted living.
Other names for assisted living facilities include “adult care facilities” or “residential care facilities”.
More than 500,000 people across the country live in assisted living facilities, with the number expected to continue to grow as the population ages.
What Is A Nursing Home?
So how is a nursing home different from an assisted living facility?
Nursing homes normally deal more with the medical side of care than the social side. Services will generally run deeper than most assisted living facilities. Some of the services that are typical for nursing homes include nursing care, 24-hour supervision, three meals a day, and assistance with everyday activities.
Many nursing homes will offer certain rehabilitation services as well including physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
What Is A Continuing-Care Retirement Community?
Continuing-care retirement communities can be a type of assisted living facility. In fact, they normally offer different levels of service all in one location. This can include independent housing, assisted living, and skilled nursing care.
The benefits of a continuing-care retirement community is that adjusts to the level of care that your loved one requires. For example, if your loved one initially moves into the independent living facility and eventually needs some sort of assisted living facility presence, they can stay in the same facility and receive that type of care.
Resident and health care services generally deal with a number of different aspects of care including housing that includes meals, social activities, housekeeping, access to a physician, and more.
There is generally also a skilled nursing facility for residents who need permanent long-term care or for residents who become temporarily ill.
Is It Time To Leave Home?
Leaving home and admitting that you can no longer live independently is one of the most difficult decisions a senior can make and can be emotional to deal with. Deciding to move out of your home can be tricky and many seniors may be reluctant to do so. But sometimes, it is the safest decision to seek out some sort of senior living facility to help your loved one.
Obviously, if your loved one has a serious, debilitating illness it is best to seek out the help of a service that can provide medical care to keep your loved one safe and healthy.
Moreover, if your loved one is struggling with certain day-to-day activities, in order for them to live a fulfilling life, they may need the help of an assisted living facility.
Talking with a loved one about an assisted living facility can be difficult for many reasons. As mentioned before, who wouldn’t be reluctant to move out of their home and into a new place that they know little to nothing about. However, if you make it clear that their safety and health is the most important thing at this stage in their life, they may be more likely to hear you out.
If they are still reluctant, just drop it for the time being. This is not a one-time conversation, it is something that you will discuss on and off for a few months before a decision is finally made.
The need for an assisted living facility, nursing home, continuing-care retirement community, or some other type of care facility will likely become apparent and when it does, it is important to find the facility that is best for your loved one.
If you are interested in what is assisted living, or finding a senior living facility that is right for you, Landmark Senior Living offers high quality care and housing to our residents. Our facilities, located in Massachusetts and New Mexico, are renovated from historical, antique buildings that are an integral part of the surrounding community. Landmark Senior Living can offer a number of different services for your loved one as they begin this new chapter in their lives.
Landmark Senior Living offers patients access to state-of-the-art assisted living facilities and services. For example, there is a great dining experience at our facilities that provides residents with great, healthy meals during their stay. Moreover, we can provide residents with the care that they need and deserve at this stage in their life. One of the featured services we offer is memory care in New Mexico to help those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. If you or a loved one is dealing with issues that may make it difficult to live independently, it may be best to reach out to Landmark and schedule a free tour of one of our facilities.