Assisted living is a long-term care option for older adults who would benefit from some extra care, but don’t quite need a medical facility. This type of senior housing combines caregiving and independence in a home-like setting. Senior residents are able to stay active and social with support from staff. They also receive help with personal care routines such as bathing, toileting, and dressing.
While assisted living is an attractive option for many seniors, it’s not for everyone. From care to cost, here are some pros and cons to consider before moving in.
Care is personalized and can adapt to your current needs. Residents are assessed and help is provided accordingly. When needs change, the care plan changes. A support staff usually comprised of PCAs, nurses, and other aides will be available for any custodial and minor medical care. Residents receive as little or as much assistance as needed to perform daily activities.
It’s pretty often that assisted living staff care for more than one resident at a time. This means there will not usually be one-on-one supervision. Also, this type of senior living offers less extensive medical care. There’s typically no skilled nursing.
When residing in assisted living, there’s no more home maintenance! No more lawn-mowing. No more cleaning the gutters. And, when something breaks, someone other than you fixes it. Many facilities also offer laundry and housekeeping services too!
No home maintenance, means you’re not at home anymore – well, not your family home. Some residents may feel isolated or have a loss of self-worth after moving from a home they’ve lived in for years to a new pad. And, that home maintenance? It’s sometimes not included. Some assisted living facilities charge extra for such services.
Safety is usually a top priority! Residents can expect ADA-compliant features such as wheelchair ramps. Also, security systems are common, including medical emergency alert systems. Assisted living facilities are designed to be senior-friendly. Lower countertops and accessible showers are a must! Also, many residents live with Alzheimer’s or dementia, so floor plans and signage are created for ease of navigation.
Increased safety measures will sometimes mean less freedom in other areas. Expect limited visitation times and restrictions on pets.
Assisted living is all about staying as independent as possible and living your best life! Many facilities will include plenty of on-site opportunities for group activities such as exercising or outings. Most also offer meal prep or even meal delivery!
Sometimes, your healthy routine might be on someone else’s schedule. If you’re in need of help from a PCA or other aides throughout the day, you may not have the leisure of choosing what time you want to do certain things, like bathing. The support staff is usually helping out more than one resident per day, so sometimes, you’ll just have to wait.
Assisted living is less costly than some other options! The average cost of assisted living, based on a private one-bedroom unit, is around $4,000 per month. The final cost is dependent on geographic location and the support staff and amenities included. A nursing home is almost double that!
While it’s one of the cheaper senior housing options, it’s important to note that many facilities charge extra for certain amenities or services. If you’re not sure what’s included, it’s best to just ask. Also worth mentioning: Medicare will not pay for long-term care.
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Originally published November 21, 2023