An assisted living community is a type of residence for seniors that need some assistance with daily living. Residents can receive care and support but do not require around the clock care, typically found in a nursing facility. Residents of an assisted living can come and go as they please while receiving the support they need helping them remain independent.
Assisted living communities provide a safe, secure home for a senior with staff in the building available 24/7. There are caregivers and support staff available to residents at all times and can respond to any needs day or night.
Residents of an assisted living pay rent for their apartments in addition to paying for care. There are different types of assisted living communities offering various levels of care. Some communities charge one price, including the care while others charge individual fees for different levels of care. Some communities offer more assistance and support but all communities offer meals, housekeeping services and health supervision.
There are various accommodations offered at assisted living communities ranging from a private apartment to a single room shared with another resident. Rental fees depend on the size of the unit as well as the care needed. In general, the cost of assisted living communities is typically about half the cost of a skilled nursing facility.
Some assisted living communities offer furnished units while most are offered unfurnished. Most communities offer units with safety features ie: grab bars, handrails, handicap accessible showers as well as emergency pull cords.
Although most assisted living communities do not provide health care, many offer health monitoring services including med management, doctor appointment reminders and podiatry services. Some also have physical therapists and physicians that visit and see residents on site. Additionally, all assisted living communities do offer assistance with activities of daily living when needed ( bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring). Assisted living communities are often a preferred option rather then living in a skilled nursing facility.
Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities: What are the Differences?
There are specific differences between assisted living, enhanced assisted living and skilled nursing. One of the major differences is that residents who live in an assisted living are independent and come and go as they please. They are encouraged to sign out so that the staff know where they are but no advance planning is necessary. Many residents in assisted living communities still drive and keep their car at the community.
In a skilled nursing home, advance planning is necessary. Residents tend to be more medically complex and require more assistance.
Another major difference is in the level of care that is offered in each facility. Both assisted living and nursing home offer assistance with daily living however nursing homes provide “skilled care” and residents often require higher levels of care. Examples of higher levels of care are wound care, oxygen care. two person assist and bed bound patients.
Enhanced assisted living communities also offer “higher level of care” or “skilled care” but the resident can reside in a assisted living community to receive that care as opposed to receiving care in an institutional nursing home residence.
Nursing homes do offer the highest level of care outside of hospitalization and are typically for long term care. A physician and medical staff is always on site in any nursing home. Residents receive both skilled nursing care as well as personal care. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and rehabilitation services are also offered at all nursing home facilities.
Amenities in Assisted Living Typically Include:
- A care plan is designed for each resident. Care may include medication management, bathing and dressing, reminders and escorts to meals and activities
- Three meals a day including snacks
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Transportation errands, doctor appointments and activities
- 24/7 assistance on site and security 24 hours
- Wellness and exercise programs
- Recreational activities
What is the Cost of Assisted Living?
The cost of assisted living varies greatly and depends on a variety of factors. Location, size of apartment, care needs all determine the price for each individual. Prices vary state to state and region to region. In general, assisted living is less expensive than a nursing home in the same geographic area.
Finding an Assisted Living Facility that’s Right for You or Your Loved One
Choice Connections can help you begin the search for housing for your loved one. Our service is FREE and we will assist you in finding the right community. Choice Connections will review with you all the available and appropriate housing options for your loved one and personally guide you every step of the way. We do a thorough Needs Assessment and will recommend only communities that are financially and medically appropriate.