An assisted living home or assisted living center is a residential living facility specifically for the elderly or for those who otherwise can’t or don’t want to live on their own. Some assisted living centers are long term care facilities. Others offer “in home” or short-term care to help the elderly maintain their dignity in their homes, whether they need routine medical care or need help grooming, getting into and out of bed, or just having someone to talk to. An in home caregiver provides companionship, but does not provide independent living skills. They are typically trained in basic emergency preparedness and safety, but not in the ability to provide independent living.
A nursing home is another alternative for senior living facilities. These facilities offer round-the-clock nursing care and supportive services like housekeeping and food preparation and cleaning. Some also include a home medical team consisting of licensed physical therapists, physicians, and psychologists. These services are usually rendered by licensed professionals who are trained in dealing with different age groups. Most of these home-based nursing facilities offer services such as adult day surgery, assisted ventilation, speech therapy, and cognitive therapy.
Many people think of assisted living homes and nursing homes as similar, but they are not. The major difference is that nursing homes have resident physicians on staff who treat patients with medical histories and symptoms. This is done under the supervision of a licensed physician and can be very intensive. Senior in home medical care is generally offered by fully-staffed nursing homes. In a senior living facility, there may only be one physician on staff and he or she will be the primary care provider for the entire elderly population.
When a person reaches the point in life where they require assisted living facilities, there are many choices available. These can be either residential or for-profit choices. If an older adult who has become disabled or has limited mobility wants to stay in their own home, they will need to be evaluated by an assessor. Assessors will take into account the medical issues, the ability to get around the home, and any other situation which presents the need for a degree of independence. Assignments are usually made to people in a multi-age household, but single family home assignments can also be made.
When a person becomes disabled, they may need to make some tough decisions. They may need to decide whether or not they can afford to continue paying their home loan and meet any other financial obligations. Assisted living facilities can be very helpful when senior adults need extra assistance with their finances and their needs. There are many senior home programs and services which can help residents of assisted living communities financially. There are also financial and educational services for students living in the senior living facilities.
Assisted living facility can give seniors with varying degrees of physical disabilities a chance to live an independent lifestyle. Daily living assistance can include housekeeping, bathing, dressing, getting meals taken care of, helping with transportation, and grooming. Having a companion to walk them to the grocery store and to go to the doctor can be a big plus in many cases. Even people confined to wheelchairs can sometimes use assistance with moving to and from their stairways.
Most assisted living facilities provide different levels of care based on the senior citizens needs. Some facilities have wellness programs which include physical exercise, diet management, and nutritional supplements for health. Others provide more extensive services. Some facilities have medical monitoring and help in managing prescriptions and other medical issues such as respiratory and nutritional issues. Some centers offer extensive recreational activities for its residents including arts and crafts, horseback riding, swimming, and other forms of exercise and interaction.
Assisted living facilities are just one option for older adults looking to move into senior housing. There are other options including long term care homes that provide many additional services, or even nursing home facilities for the elderly. Whatever option a senior chooses, it is always best to consult with a professional before moving in to ensure the safety and well-being of the resident.