Assisted living is a communal way of life designed for seniors who need help with various daily tasks – like grooming, bathing, and medication management – but still wish to remain as independent as possible.
Retirement Communities > Assisted Living
Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who need help with various daily tasks, but still want to remain as independent as possible. The communities provide assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and services such as:
These services can either be included in the monthly price, or provided at an additional charge.
Assisted living communities come in a variety of layouts, sizes, and types of housing. Their hallways and common areas are often wide and spacious, allowing for mobility devices such as wheelchairs and walkers. They tend to be on one level, or provide first floor access to elevators. The appearance often ranges; some are laid out like a typical apartment complex, while others may look more like a sprawling campus-wide retirement community.
The more encompassing campuses may also feature:
Assisted living facilities seek to make their residents’ day-to-day lives as simple, comfortable, and engaging as possible. These communities provide everything from housekeeping to meals to 24-hour security, and help remove many daily concerns seniors would otherwise face. Residents and their families have the peace of mind knowing that if help is needed, someone is always nearby.
Residents can also spend more time enjoying their hobbies and interests, such as painting, music, playing cards, and reading – and even in many cases, cooking and gardening.
Assisted living facilities are designed to cultivate a strong social connection among residents, as isolation can have a negative effect on one’s physical and mental health. Many communities have group dining and common areas. They also offer regularly planned group recreation to help keep seniors engaged, with activities ranging from creative to active such as:
Most communities encourage visitors anytime throughout the day, and many even allow family members and close friends to come after the building has been locked up at night.
Some also allow residents to have a pet, as long as it is cared for and well-behaved. Much like an apartment community, weight limits often apply.
Many daily chores are done by the assisted living community staff, basic services which are typically built into monthly fees. These often include:
Potential residents qualify for assisted living when they require help with at least three activities of daily living (ADLs). Staff are on hand to assist with these daily activities as needed, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming.
Other basic medical services include:
Consider these statements below to determine if a couple of them describe you, or your loved one:
If most or all of the above statements apply, then an Assisted Living Community may be a good option. You could also consider the following solutions:
If you or your loved one are in better health than these statements indicate, the following solutions may be a better fit:
If you or your loved one need more hands-on care, the following options may be a better fit for you:
Still not sure? Take our Care Assessment to see what care level may be best.
The cost of assisted living can vary greatly among facilities. These factors are often based on:
According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the National Monthly Median cost of assisted living care in the United States is $4,300. Many communities have à la carte pricing, which makes the starting monthly price point more affordable; however, with additional needs – such as additional care – comes additional cost. Statistically, the average stay in an assisted living home is 2-3 years. For budgeting purposes, some things to keep in mind:
A more expensive, higher quality community often comes with additional features and amenities. These include:
Typically, assisted living is funded by private funds and long-term care insurance policies. There are financial assistance programs available to families in need; these tend to be available on the state level. Other funding sources can be veterans’ benefits, and in rare cases, Medicaid; availability varies state to state.
For information on the cost of assisted living in your area, visit one of the links below:
Though there are no federal regulations in regards to assisted living, individual states have their own guidelines in place. Find more information about assisted living facilities in your state below: