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Group of old people walking outdoor

National Assisted Living Week

September 8th – 15th is National Assisted Living Week.  This week celebrates residents and staff who come together and highlight the importance and differences of each of the styles and more importantly care level of Senior living facilities.

National Center for Assisted Living reports there are more than 28,000 assisted living residence in the United States. These facilities help elders by providing housing, medical care, social activities, and meals.

What is an Assisted Living Community?

Seniors who want to live Independently, but need a bit of assistance will become residents of these fabulous homes. These facilities provide peace of mind to the senior’s families as they know that their basic daily needs are met including bathing, dressing, and getting their medication. Many facilities offer extra benefits, including housekeeping, laundry services, Beautician services and recreational activities. The facilities look a lot like apartments  consisting of  25-120 single residences. At a higher cost, seniors may choose homes that are subdivided with live-in staff. Companies that support assisted living are either non-profit or for-profit.

What are the benefits of an assisted living community?

  • Peace of mind that your loved one is taken care of with daily living activities like bathing or getting dressed
  • Balanced nutrition And safety away from a kitchen with stoves that can be forgotten or dishes and glassware that can break and cause a fall hazard
  • On-site medical care to assist with monitoring both medications and a sudden decline in health
  • Transportation provided
  • Flexible living arrangements (should seniors health needs change)
  • Privacy in a “home-like” setting
  • Social hours with scheduled activities, exercise and entertainment
  • Friends and peers, other seniors to talk with and share likeminded experiences
  • No home maintenance or cleaning issues

The downsides of Assisted Living may affect those who cannot afford the cost. In many cases, Medicare will not cover costs. In addition, personal care can be additional charges. A place for mom provides a wonder guide to senior housing including financial planning and costs. Senior -housing-101

Some seniors may find it hard to adjust to the new living situation due to a lack of desire to change or adapt.

Some patients may need to live in an environment that handles higher-level medical issues.

With these above problems, it’s important to know that there are several different types of senior care available.

Senior Living explains the different levels of care and supervision for your loved one. With good reason, many seniors desire to live in their homes for as long as possible. Everyone likes to feel independent. However, when seniors need more attention than what they can provide for themselves or their family, it’s time to look at additional options. Memory and safety are often the first indicator of a need for a change in living circumstances.  Studies also show that living home alone without companionship increases the significance of mental and physical decline.

What are the different types of senior living and options available?

  • Independent Living Communities (IND) is for seniors of similar ages are brought together in a community, but do not require daily care or much assistance. These seniors are still Independent, they may even continue to drive. Many of these communities age limits begin at 55 years of age.  These homes and apartments are nice because they offer increased security and no children. Many IND’s are now community designed to allow the senior to remain in the same area and transition to a higher level of care as needed without a big move. Same medical facilities, same shopping and same familiar “neighborhood”.
  • Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) are for seniors who can take care of themselves for the most part, but need a little bit of help with daily household tasks and some Activities of Daily Living (ADL’S) like showering. Assisted Living can be customized to the senior’s level of needs. Be sure to do your research; as the need for care increases the need to hire private help may also increase.
  • Nursing Homes offer higher-level attention for health care and mobility including help going to the restroom and getting in and out of bed, medications, walking or wheel chair mobility and fall prevention monitoring.
  • In-home health care involves the senior staying in their home with visits (according to needs) by a medical professional. Insurance might pay for nursing or therapy two to three times a week up to 12 weeks. Daily care will be the financial responsibility of the individual or family.
  • Temporary and daycare options are used to relieve the caregiver who is most often on duty to assist with the senior.  Day care also provides for socialization, exercise and cognitive enrichment.
  • All-in-one Continuous Care / Hybrid Communities offer small homes and apartments for seniors to age in place according to their medical and physical needs found typically in “hot retirement spots” like Florida. Care workers are dispatched to the senior’s home through a home agreement.
  • Palliative care provides specialized care for seniors relieving stress and symptoms associated with serious illness.
  • Hospice Care, also known as end of life care is for seniors who have an illness that can no longer be treated or a cure has not been found, like cancer. Seniors will be made comfortable until their end has come.

It’s a complex and challenging obstacle to decide what your senior needs and what options are available. You need to look at how much attention your senior needs and how much they will allow for you to provide. Change is difficult for everyone. Choose to speak with your senior’s physician and Therapy Team (Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapist) for recommendations and understanding what type of care is necessary.

In doing our research, we found that AgingCare.com provided an excellent eBook on Senior Housing Planning. Including a short checklist of things to look for when researching a new home for a Senior. Go to https://www.agingcare.com and click on Find Care, a senior care specialist will pop on the screen, click get free help and ask about Senior Housing Planner eBook.