Assisted Living is a combination of housing, personalized supportive services, and health care designed to meet the needs of seniors who require assistance with “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL’s).
Assisted Living Facilities come in many forms, ranging anywhere from a converted Victorian Home to a large high-rise facility caring for over 200 residents. A Residence may be free standing or housed with other care options such as a Retirement Community (independent living) or perhaps with a nursing (convalescent) care center, or an Alzheimer’s wing. There is actually no single blueprint, because consumer’s preferences and needs vary widely. The actual units also vary in size from a studio, a one bedroom apartment, to a two bedroom apartment or suite.
Currently, more than a million Americans live in an estimated 20,000 Assisted Living residences throughout the US. An average resident is a woman in her eighties and is either widowed or single and generally ambulatory. Residents may require some assistance due to an array of health care issues, or may only need help with bathing, grooming or medication management. It is important that the resident be able to reach the dining room, or be able to exit the facility in case of fire “on their own power”,which can include a wheelchair or motorized scooter – the important part being “on their own power” or without assistance. **
Typical services provided in an Assisted Living facility include:
Three meals a day, plus snacks served in a common dining room.
A range of services that promote quality of life and as much independence as possible, such as:
Personal care services (help with, bathing, dressing, toileting (etc.)
Social, recreational and religious activities
Exercise and educational opportunities
Housekeeping and maintenance
Transportation to shopping, outings, doctor appointments,
Access to health and medical services
The Philosophy of Assisted Living emphasizes the right of the individual to choose the setting for care and services, with the senior sharing the risks and responsibilities for the daily activities, and well-being with a staff geared to helping them enjoy as much independence, as possible. Assisted Living facilities embrace the philosophy of “aging in place”,which allows the senior to remain at the residence as long as the care team can appropriately provide for their health, safety and well being.
What about costs?
Costs vary with each facility and with each senior – depending upon many factors including room size, the type of services needed by the resident and the location of the facility. A basic Assisted Living fee may include all services or there may be additional charges based upon the senior’s level of care or specific needs. Generally. the fees are based on a month to month basis ranging from around $4,000+ and up for a Studio, to around $6,000+ for a large apartment and heavier care needs. Many facilities have a base price with a “points added” or care level system. A 30-day notice is requested, prior to move out.
Residents have their own mail-boxes near the lobby. Many facilities have a “work-out room”, libraries, several large screen TV areas, beauty-shops, and computer centers set up with training on how to use the PC and to e-mail their children and grandchildren and receive e-mail. Some have swimming pools, hot tubs and individualized whirl pools with easy access and help near by, just in case.
This option focuses strongly on continued life enrichment.
**A new trend over the last two or three years has been for In-Home Care companies (owned and operated by outside companies) to be imbedded within many of the Assisted Living facilities to help when the care team can no longer provide the additional care needed for the seniors’ continued health, safety and well-being. This service will be billed by the In-Home-Care company to the senior and family.
If there is enough funding available for the senior’s care, then this can be advantageous by not having to make another move.
Watch the videos below for two examples or perspectives of Assisted Living. The first video is from the perspective of an Senior Oregonian. This video can give families and friends ideas how to bring additional quality of life into the life of their family member or friend.
The other one is a creative Assisted Living approach in California.
Care Service Options will work with you closely to help you pick an assisted living facility where your loved one can thrive.