As people age, oftentimes their living arrangements need to be adjusted. Needs evolve as children move out or other situations arise. One of the scenarios that may come to pass as a person ages is the need for more specialized help that just isn’t possible at home.
When failing physical or mental health affects one’s ability to be independent and live safety at home, moving into an assisted living facility may be the next step. The National Center for Assisted Living indicates assisted living offers the little bit of help some people need when they can no longer manage living alone. Typically these facilities provide assistance with bathing or dressing, medication management and other care, while also catering to people who may not require the around-the-clock medical care most often associated with nursing homes.
Vetting is an important component of finding assisted living facilities. Family caregivers need to educate themselves about services, costs and other resources provided by assisted living facilities.
AARP says assisted living facilities provide residents with a range of services that can include supervision, meals, housekeeping, laundry, and personal care. Residents usually have their own apartments or private rooms. Because they are mostly regulated at state level in the United States, there is a lot of variety among these facilities. That means family caregivers need to assess their needs and desires in a facility to find the right one that fits. Assisted living facilities offer a home-like environment, and the amenities available vary based on cost.
Paying for assisted living differs from paying for nursing homes. Largely government-subsidized health programs like Medicare and Medicaid pay for nursing home care. Those who would be best serviced by assisted living may find they may not qualify for government support, nor may the facilities accept anything other than private payment or long-term care insurance to cover room and board.
Other considerations in assisted living facilities are size, specialties, atmosphere, location, and the ability to transition to higher forms of care. Assisted living may fill a void currently, but it’s often not a permanent situation for all, and eventually certain residents may have to move on to skilled care facilities.
Potential residents and their families should visit various assisted living facilities to get a feel for what they are like. Speak with the staff and residents, request a meal and get a sense of the environment. Apart from cost, how the home feels is one of the most important factors in shopping around for this type of residence.