What Is Assisted Living?

Aging is a natural part of life. A common, but unwanted part of the aging process is losing independence as health begins to deteriorate. Assisted living was designed with seniors in mind and to provide relief and peace of mind for their family and loved ones.

Many people have heard about assisted living. But what exactly is assisted living?

Assisted living is a wonderful choice for those who do not require complete medical assistance but would prefer assistance with their daily lives. For example, people, typically seniors, who require personal care or medical assistance.

The facility is designed to appear as a home-like environment to provide the comfort and independence people need. There are daily services from qualified medical assistants to provide ease and companionship throughout the day.

Assisted living can also be known as personal care or supportive living. Within the facility, people have the option of having their own private unit or even sharing a unit with a roommate.

Care Provided in Assisted Living Communities

Assisted living provides a plethora of helpful services to the community. The following services are provided:

  • Meals
  • Laundry; folded and delivered
  • Dressing and grooming assistance
  • Social activities
  • Using the restroom facilities
  • Housekeeping
  • Inviting creative programs
  • Transportation services

Assisted living staff is available day and night, 24/7 for the community. The staff provides caring, warm support to all residents.

Assisted Living Services & Amenities

Amenities provided at supportive living communities can range between different facilities. Assisted living services and amenities offered can include but are not limited to:

  • Library
  • Private dining
  • Game room
  • Beauty salon/barbershop
  • Entertainment

In-home amenities can include but are not limited to:

  • Easy-to-use telephone or cellphone
  • Controlled temperature
  • TV and remote control
  • Fully furnished with necessary furniture
  • Computer

Is Assisted Living the Right Senior Care Choice?

Assisted Living VS Independent Living

Independent living is for people who can safely and comfortably live on their own but who may prefer having assistance, as necessary. Independent living provides a more self-governing approach to daily life. These seniors do not yet require assistance with their normal daily lives.

Assisted Living VS Nursing Homes

Nursing home living is for people who require a higher level of care. They provide rehabilitation services, medical and nursing care and assistance in and out of bed. The availability of Medicare and other financial assistance are another difference between assisted living and nursing homes.

Assisted Living VS Memory Care

Memory care is quite similar to assisted living. The major difference is memory care facilities specialize in caring for seniors who endure memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s disease. All services provided at assisted living centers are provided at memory care centers.

Assisted Living VS Home Care

Home care provides many of the same services as assisted living. The major difference between the two is that home care is provided to the residence within the comfort of their own home. Assistants can have a daily or weekly schedule or may be a live-in assistant.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

The cost of assisted living can vary greatly from location to location. On average, these services can cost between $1800-2400 per month. Some regions can see assisted living charges to be upwards of $5,000 per month.

Depending on your location, the services and requirements you need, the price point can change. Other factors can include the layout of your unit, food services, medical needs and bathrooms (whether shared, semi or private).

How to Pay for Assisted Living

There are multiple ways to pay for assisted living residency and services. Whether out of pocket or requiring financial assistance, here are several of the most popular ways to afford assisted living:

  • Income and savings
  • Private pay
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Home equity
  • Sale of life insurance policy
  • Help from loved ones
  • Renting the residence
  • VA Benefits
  • Reverse mortgage
  • Medicaid

What to Look for in Assisted Living

Safety and comfort are of the highest priority in an assisted living community. Be on the lookout for regular health assessments by the medical staff. Consistent health screenings allow for seniors to stay in top health during their stay.

Additionally, look for staff-to-resident ratio. A low staff-to-resident ratio can provide for an uncomfortable situation. There must be adequate staff per resident to ensure everyone’s safety and proper care.

Most importantly, communication is key! Assisted living centers must be transparent and trustworthy with the events on property and with the health and safety of the seniors. Executive directors and other staff should be helpful and easily answer any questions about assisted living that you may have.

How to Choose the Right Assisted Living Facility

First and foremost, it is important to schedule a tour of the property. During the tour, be sure to look for the “personality” of the assisted living community. Ensure you and your loved one feels invited, safe and comfortable on the property. To make sure you don’t miss anything, download our FREE guide and checklist for touring communities.

An engaging activity director and friendly residents are the next things to be mindful of. Also, be aware of staff members and their treatment of residents. If you have the chance, speak to the residents and ask their experience.

Does the property appear to be safe? Next, look for the cleanliness of the property, including the residential areas. Are they properly maintained?

Finally, sampling the quality of food is very important when searching for the perfect assisted living community. Nutritious, healthy meals are the ticket to longevity and good health.

Finding Assisted Living Near You

If it sounds like assisted living is the right choice for you or a loved one, the next step is to see what’s available in your area. Use our assisted living directory to search over 19,000 communities in the U.S. and Canada. Filter results by city or zip code to find the best available living and care options in your area.

We know there is an assisted living community to meet your individualized needs and that you’d be glad to call home. The only step left is to make the big move!