What Is Assisted Living?

enjoying assisted living image

Most of us have heard the terms “assisted living,” “independent living facility,” “nursing home,” “hospice care,” and “in-home nursing care,” but we do not always understand the differences between each of these different types of care. All of these types of care are designed to help people with disabilities or those who are elderly continue to live their lives as fully as possible. Assisted living is a popular form of care through the golden years. Find out how this could help you or a loved one live and age comfortably.

Activities of Daily Living

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are a key indicator of whether or not someone should consider assisted living options. As people age, or if they face certain disabilities, there may be some aspects of their daily life may be difficult. For example, a person may be able to keep his or her medications straight, but not have the endurance to cook a healthy meal. Or, the person may not be strong enough to take care of basic hygiene or do laundry. When ADLs become a problem for an individual, some form of help can be available.

Other ADLs include:

  •       Social involvement
  •       Shuttle service to activities
  •       Housekeeping

There are some warning signs that a person is not able to continue their ADLs, such as:

  •       Depression
  •       Declining quality of living spaces (messy, dirty)
  •       Immobility
  •       Ignoring financial problems
  •       Poor communication or refusal to communicate

Assisted Living

A person can be a recipient of assisted living services in his own home. Some of the costs of this may be covered by Medicare and/or Medicaid. For people who have only a few needs, this can be a viable option. Whether or not the person can be best cared for in this way can be determined by a home evaluation and conferencing with the primary care physician and patient.

This type of care is the easiest to accept because it doesn’t require that the patient leave his or her home. There is still a big adjustment, as many people at this stage in life do not want strangers in their home or dealing with their personal effects. However, most agree that when ADLs are not being met, something must change. As more and more care is required, the patient may move into an assisted living facility.

Assisted Living Facility

An assisted living facility is designed to provide all of the ADLs necessary for people requiring different levels of care. Each facility offers different packages with varying amounts of care. While moving into an assisted living facility is not always happily received, it can still allow the patient to have a little more privacy. These facilities cost between $3,000 and $5000 a month.

These facilities are usually separate units, much like duplexes. The patient can bring their own furniture if they want to and decorate as they did at home. But, they receive 24/7 security, housekeeping, laundry services and meal delivery. They also have access to social activities and entertainment, a crucial factor to mental health.

Most of these facilities also provide for patients who continue to decline in health. This may require a move to the main building or another facility altogether.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid do not cover the full expense of living in an assisted living facility. However, they do cover select costs of healthcare in some of these facilities. You will need to check with each facility to see which services they offer that are covered by Medicare and Medicaid. These two government programs are more likely to pay for nursing home, skilled nursing facilities, or home care.
Changes in a living situation can be uncomfortable, overwhelming, and emotional. However, assisted living can provide the person with a sense of privacy and improve his or her quality of life. For more information about finding quality assisted living options in your area, contact a Senior Care Specialist at 844-472-2323.

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