The Assisted Living Federation of America defines assisted living as a long-term care option that combines housing, support services and health care, as needed. Assisted living is designed for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities such as meals, medication management or assistance, bathing, dressing and transportation. Some residents may have memory disorders including Alzheimer’s, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence or other challenges. Residents are assessed upon move in, or any time there is a change in condition. The assessment is used to develop an Individualized Service Plan.
Typical Services Offered in Assisted Living Communities:
Assisted living communities provide more personal care services than an independent living retirement community. They offer a less-expensive, residential approach to delivering many of the same services available in skilled nursing, either by employing personal care staff or contracting with home health agencies and other outside professionals.
Amenities in assisted living typically include:
- Three meals a day served in a common dining area
- Housekeeping services
- 24-hour security
- Exercise and wellness programs
- Personal laundry services
- Social and recreational activities
Personal care in assisted living typically includes:
- Staff available to respond to both scheduled and unscheduled needs
- Assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and walking
- Access to health and medical services, such as physical therapy and hospice
- Emergency call systems for each resident’s apartment
- Medication management
- Care for residents with cognitive impairments
What is the Cost of Assisted Living?
Assisted living costs vary with the residence, apartment size, and types of services needed. The basic rate may cover all services or there may be additional charges for special services. Most assisted living residences charge on a month-to-month lease arrangement, but a few require long-term arrangements. Assisted living is of often less expensive than home health or nursing home care in the same geographic area.
While 86.2% of assisted living residents today pay for long-term care from their personal financial resources, 41 states offer “home and community-based waivers” that allow low-income residents to live in assisted living. More seniors are purchasing long-term care insurance to help plan for and finance their long-term care needs.