Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors| Last updated March 05, 2021
One of the most frustrating parts of growing old for most people is the loss of their independence. Assisted living residences allow seniors to retain their independent lifestyles, but also provide support for the tasks and activities that become more difficult with age.
Assisted living residences typically provide such services as:
Meals, housekeeping, and other domestic assistance
Personal, but not nursing, care
Health and safety monitoring
Assisted living offers many benefits to seniors, but it isn't for everyone. The residences, while set up to provide a homey feeling, are not a perfect substitute for a home, especially one that a senior may have lived in for decades.
Assisted living residences also organize seniors' schedules, which can present an annoyance for a senior who can handle most tasks, but just wants someone around to do the cooking and cleaning.
Types of Residences
Assisted living facilities offer a wide variety of living spaces. There are one-bedroom apartments that may be indistinguishable from a standard rental unit; studio apartments with small kitchens; studio apartments with no kitchens; single rooms; and even shared rooms.
The living spaces may come with furniture, or the senior resident may be able to bring in their own furniture. Oftentimes, the living areas will also have special accommodations for seniors, such as handrails, non-slip surfaces, and special fixtures.
Assisted living residences offer more services than, say, an independent living facility. The type and level of assistance that a senior requires depend on the individual, but here are some common things that assisted living facilities will help out with:
Activities of Daily Living
As people age, they may start to have problems with activities of daily living (ADL): bathing, dressing, eating, using the bathroom, getting in and out of bed, etc. Assisted living residences can provide the kind of personal attention that will give seniors help with ADLs, but also allow them to retain more autonomy.
Health and Safety Monitoring
Family and friends of seniors in assisted living facilities will definitely appreciate having someone around to make sure that the senior resident is healthy and safe. Assisted living residences will monitor their residents and check for signs of illness or distress. If there is a problem, this can be crucial in ensuring that seniors receive timely care.
Shopping for groceries and preparing meals can be a chore for everyone, but for seniors, it can be especially difficult. Assisted living facilities can prepare meals for seniors, which can help seniors to maintain a proper diet and stay healthy.
While most people take pride in keeping a neat and tidy house, many seniors may struggle with the physical activities that this entails. In an assisted living residence, the staff can handle the housekeeping and let the seniors focus on other things.
Socializing, Hobbies, and Exercise
A good assisted living facility will encourage its residents to stay active, both mentally and physically, and will provide them with opportunities to socialize with other residents, take up hobbies and get a healthy amount of exercise.
What Does It Cost?
The cost of an assisted living facility will be different based on the size of the living space, the level of services provided, and the area in which it is located. People considering an assisted living residence should be aware that the living space is usually rented, and the rents, just like with any other apartment, can go up over time.
Many assisted living facilities also charge various fees at different points, so inquire about that as well.
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