Assisted Living

10 Things To Know About Assisted Living

There are many different senior living facilities available nowadays. One of the more popular ones is assisted living.

Assisted living communities provide seniors with long term care.  They offer more services than independent living, but less services than memory care facilities or nursing home . It is basically for seniors who need help in some areas of daily life and want to be active and social.

Here are 10 things that you should know about assisted living facilities:

1 – Not the same as nursing homes

You may think that assisted living facilities are the same as nursing homes, but this is not true. the differences are:

  • Assisted living residents are independent for the most part.  Nursing home residents need 24-7 care.
  • Nursing homes require a staff of fully skilled medical personal.  Assisted living does not.
  • Nursing residents usually have a room to themselves or share a room.  Assisted living residents live in a single bedroom apartment.
  • Assisted living residents are active and social.  Nursing home residents are usually confined to their beds, wheelchair.

2- Pets

In recent years, many assisted living facilities have become pet-friendly.  You will have to ask the individual facility if the facility is pet friendly. If the facility is pet friendly, they may ask to meet the pet ahead of time to make sure it fits their facility.  Many of the facilities even hire a pet coordinator that will take care of all the pets. Facilities have found that having pets have a positive affect. Some of these affects are:

  • Decreases depression
  • Greater feeling of purpose and self-worth
  • Lowered stress

3 – Each Community is Different

Don’t think that if you have visited one assisted living community that they are all the same.  Each assisted living community has difference in care and design.  There are communities that look like little towns and there are communities that are more traditional.  Also, the community might be in a tall high rise building or one story apartments.

4 – Costs

You might think that assisted living is very expensive;however, the costs are actually lower than you think.  It is less than living in an independent home or hiring a personal full-time care taker.  Some ways to save money on assisted living are:

  • Check veteran benefits
  • Compare all-inclusive prices  with a la carte prices

5 – Culturally diverse options

Something new in assisted living facilities is offering facilities that are culturally diverse.  Some communities are culturally diverse with its language, food and even religious needs.

There are even facilities that are specific to a culture.  For example there are a growing number of Asian senior communities.  In Detroit there are a number or Arab communities and in Florida there are communities that celebrate Jewish holidays.

6 – Different levels of care

There is no standard rule saying that all assisted living facilities must provide a certain level of care.  Levels of care at assisted living facilities vary from one community to the other.

Some assisted nursing facilities may even provide the same level of care as nursing homes.  The level of care depends on the type of certification the facility has.

7 – Couples Can Stay Together

It is always sad when couples have to go to different living facilities in nursing homes.  The good thing about assisted living facilities is that couples can stay together.  Even if you and your loved one has different needs, the assisted living facility can work with the couple.  They offer regular visiting times between couples when they are separated within the assisted living facility.

8 – Memory Care

There are more than 5 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.  This is why many assisted living facilities offer memory care programs.  These seniors often live among the rest of the senior population in the facility. As their condition worsens, they are moved to the memory care facility of the community.  In this part of the facility there are trained staff and extra safety measures in place.  These programs will help improve quality of life of seniors.

9 – No Doctors on Site

Assisted living communities do not have doctors on site.  Some of them may have registered nurses.  They may have a doctor that is available on an on call only basis.

10 – It is Possible To Get Kicked Out

You may think that just because you are paying to live in the community that you will never be asked to leave. This is unfortunately true.  Assisted living communities want to make sure that they have the right type of people living there.  They are able to ask seniors to leave. In the contracts signed by the residents there is a clause that states that the community has the right to ask you to leave.  Some reasons they may do so are care needs or behavioral problems.


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