According to statistics, many Americans seek assisted living once they reach the age of 65. Maybe because during this age, doing the daily activities alone can be challenging. It is the reason many seniors prefer to live in facilities providing assisted living. Such a facility offers round-the-clock nursing care.
What is assisted living?
The concept of assisted living is to offer long-term accommodation for seniors who need help in carrying out daily tasks. Seniors may find difficulty in managing medication, cleaning, cooking, and laundry. This living option is ideal for seniors who need extra help but can still move on their own. The good thing about assisted living is they offer 24/7 support. Thus, residents and their families have peace of mind.
What care is provided in assisted living?
As mentioned above, assisted living facilities offer 24-hour assistance and supervision. Some services include:
- Maintaining good health through exercise
- Housekeeping, cleaning, and laundry
- Help and personal care if the resident cannot do the daily living activities
- Preparing meals
- Managing medications
- Transportation services
Some facilities offer other services, such as occupational and physical therapy, and salon services. The level of care in assisted living varies depending on the needs of the resident.
- Level one or the lowest care
This level of care is ideal for older adults who can move independently but requires some reminders about appointments or medications. The resident may also need supervision when taking injections or checking the blood sugar.
- Level two or moderate care
A senior having mobility issues requires moderate care. Assistance for residents with ADL includes dressing, bathing, and managing medications.
- Level three or highest care
Sometimes seniors in the assisted living facility have severe cognitive or physical problems. Thus, they need help and support in doing most of the daily tasks. With this, the staff of the facility offers assistance when using the restroom, bathing, dressing, and getting around. Managing medication is also monitored. Assisted living facilities that treatment seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s are often called memory care homes. Memory care facilities in Colorado, for example, often treat patients that need high levels of care.
Tips on finding assisted living
When the time comes that you need to live in an assisted living facility, you must be knowledgeable on how to find the right one. There are several factors to evaluate in making your choice. Inquire from at least three facilities so that you can compare factors. Here are some factors to consider.
The cost of living in an assisted living facility must be the foremost concern. We know it can be expensive, but try to look for an affordable one. Prices vary depending on the location. For example, assisted living facilities in Albuquerque, NM may cost less than assisted living facilities in Orlando. You must plan your finances suitable for your budget. If your parents have a retirement fund, try to create a financial plan that will cover the expenses in the living facility. The cost may vary according to the services needed by the senior.
– Get to know caregivers and staff who provide daily support
Letting your parents live in the assisted living facility is not a simple decision. You will leave your parents to a team whom you don’t know personally. With this, it is essential to familiarize the staff and caregivers who will attend to your parent. Conducting observation or interaction between the resident and the staff is a good way to assess. Check if the staff practice patience, friendliness, and compassion.
– Transitions to higher care
The transition of moving into a local memory care community or assisted living facility is difficult. That is why, before deciding, you must determine the needs of the senior. In case the resident needs beyond the capability of the staff, then it is necessary to seek assistance from a skilled nursing facility. The transition of care would mean increased costs.
Living in an assisted facility would cost a considerable amount of money. Many residents in a facility pay using their personal finances. However, residents having Medicaid have a smaller option because the facility does not consider it necessary.
– Consider accommodations and comfort
Before letting your loved one live in one of assisted living facilities near you, you must determine the accommodation options. Consider a facility that allows to bring along pets for the residents. Check if there’s an option for a shared or private room. In choosing a facility, make sure the accommodation is comfortable.
– Meal quality
Considering the quality of food or meal offered is essential in choosing the best assisted living facility. Check on how many meals they provide in a day and if they prepare the food daily. Does the facility consider the dietary needs of the residents? Ask if the facility allows the residents to bring food to their rooms.
– Talk to the Staff
If you are worried about how the staff of the facility would treat your loved one, the best thing to do is talk with them. Keep in mind that other people could not give the love and care you do. But if the staff of the facility shows compassion to the residents, you can ensure your parents would love the environment.
– Read reviews
Another way that can help in finding the best assisted living facilities is by reading reviews. It will guide you in determining the services offered and how they treat the residents. Thus, you must visit personally the facility to get an idea of how it operates.
– Pay attention to cleanliness, curb appeal, and design details
The cleanliness of the facility is very important. It would be the new home of your parent or anyone in the family. That is why you should know how the management of the facility maintains the place. The environment must be conducive to mental and physical well-being.
Also check the safety features of the facility, including the grab bars, zero-threshold showers, and handrails. There must be accessibility features such as wheelchair ramps, stairlifts, wide doors, and elevators.
– Keep it close to home
As much as possible, look for an assisted living facility near your home. If you love in the Washington state for example, consider looking for assisted living facilities in Washington and not in other states. This way, it would be easier for you to visit your loved one. Frequent visits to the facility are essential to improve the quality of life of your parents while living in the facility.
The best assisted living facility must not make the life of the resident miserable while away from the family. Instead, it must be a new home away from home. Keeping in mind all the pointers mentioned above will help in selecting the right facility.