Currently, there are roughly 31,000 assisted living communities in the United States, serving more than 735,000 adults over the age of 60. The number of assisted living communities in the U.S. is on the rise as more and more baby boomers are reaching retirement age and beyond. If you’re concerned about your loved one’s safety, an assisted living community might be the next best thing to staying in the home. Read on to get answers to your questions about this type of senior care.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a type of residential community that caters to the need of adults. Most communities consist of individual apartments or rooms within large facilities or single homes. People who live in assisted living facilities can no longer live on their own but do not need the full skilled nursing care provided by a nursing home.
What Is Provided at an Assisted Living Facility?
In an assisted living facility, caregivers can provide help with daily living tasks. They can perform tasks like helping residents get dressed, bathe and groom themselves. In addition, they can provide assistant with toileting and help ensure that residents are able to get up from chairs or bed without falling. Meals are typically cooked for residents and served to them either in a communal setting or in their rooms. The facility also does residents’ laundry and does all of the housekeeping.
What Isn’t Provided in an Assisted Living Facility?
While assisted living provides many services, there are some things that these facilities do not provide. Some assisted living facilities will have one or two nurses on staff, but the majority of the people who work there are not medical professionals. There may not always be a person on duty who is knowledgeable about medical care. Therefore, assisted living facilities can typically not accept residents who must have their vital signs checked or who need ongoing treatments and therapies administered by a licensed health care worker. In addition, many assisted living facilities require patients to be somewhat mobile. Some may require that patients be able to walk with the help of an assistive device or that they can be safely transferred to wheelchairs or a chair during the day. Completely bedridden people can typically not live in assisted living facilities.
What Are the Benefits of Assisted Living?
There are many benefits to assisted living for residents and their families. Seniors get supervision and help that can reduce the risk of serious injury and illness. Many elderly people enjoy a much higher quality of life in assisted living facilities than they do living alone because someone is always there to meet their needs. Residents also get the benefits of socializing with both staff and fellow residents. Many facilities book regular activities to keep seniors entertained. As a result, residents who live in assisted living facilities are much less at risk for depression and loneliness. Families of residents get the peace of mind that someone is looking after their loved ones 24 hours per day.