Assisted living facilities may be a viable and alternative housing option for senior citizens that need help with daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, eating and toileting. Unlike nursing home facilities, the benefits of assisted living facilities do not include aid with intensive medical care. Some consider assisted living facilities as a halfway point to nursing care as a senior citizen can retain much of their independence. For more information about these facilities, including requirements and facility locations, seniors can review the sections below.
What are assisted living facilities?
Assisted living facilities are one type of housing option seniors may need when seeking alternative places to live. Many potential residents of these facilities may ask, “What services are provided in assisted living facilities?” when contemplating a new place of residence. These facilities allow a senior citizen maintain independence for many tasks, while gaining assistance with other daily responsibilities such as bathing, eating and laundry. These facilities do not include the services of a skilled nursing home, as an assisted living facility is not designed for individuals who have intensive medical care needs.
Assisted living facilities can be a part of a retirement community, senior housing complex or stand-alone housing areas. An elderly assisted living facility may overlap with other types of senior living areas like congregate (group) care or senior board and care. Some facilities may be part of a larger senior community for elderly residents of all care levels. Typically, each resident in an assisted living facility has his or her own apartment or unit and includes a variety of services. Services and benefits of assisted living facilities can include:
- Support staff
- Meals and housekeeping
- Health care, medication management and healthcare monitoring
- Optional recreational activities
- Transportation services
It is important to note that the services offered at one facility may not be the same as what is offered at another, so it is important that you view your available options in order to make an informed decision. When looking at the assisted living facilities lists in your area and considering one of these locations, you should visit each facility more than once and at different times, with or without an appointment if possible. This will give you a better idea of how that particular assisted living facility operates on a day-to-day basis. If you visit at meal times, ask to sample food and be sure to observe the quality of mealtime and the interactions between residents and staff. You can speak with residents about their experiences to determine if the assisted living facility is right for you. When considering the benefits of assisted living facilities, you should also:
- Consider whether or not your needs would be met with the services that an assisted living facility has to offer.
- Determine whether the facility is close to your friends and family.
- Find out what types of training the staff at the facility receive and how often they receiving training.
- Review state licensing reports.
To learn more about assisted living facilities and other housing options for seniors, get our free helpful guide.
Requirements for an Assisted Living Facility
Each assisted living facility has its own eligibility requirements for applicants to meet. One of the largest assisted living facilities requirements is that you do not have a serious medical condition that require the level of care found in a nursing home facility. However, different facilities for assisted living may have different standards for levels of care. You can contact a facility that you are interested in and ask about the requirements for their facility to determine if the place if worth applying to.
What does an assisted living facility cost?
While an assisted living facility is typically less expensive than nursing home care, it is worth noting that these facilities are still expensive. Fees can range from one facility to the next, depending upon the additional services that the facility has to offer as well as the type of facility. If you are interested in an assisted living facility, it is crucial that you ask what services are included in their base price, as many facilities will charge extra for additional services. It is also worth noting that the Medicare health insurance program does not cover the costs of assisted living facilities, however, some state Medicaid health insurance policies may pay for some of the services received in assisted living. If you are concerned about the cost of assisted living facilities, you may wish to consider federal housing options for seniors if the programs can help you with your current living situation.
Where to Find Assisted Living Facilities Directories
Now that you understand more about assisted living facilities and the care and services that they have to offer, you should review assisted living facilities lists so that you can begin to learn more about the facilities that are available within your area. You can acquire assisted living facilities directories in a few ways, including by phone or in person with certain agencies that assist seniors with a variety of needs. These local offices will be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of assisted living facilities in your area, and may even be able to provide you with information regarding any recent complaints, if applicable. You can contact the United States Administration of Aging and other similar agencies for an online location tool or through their toll free number to obtain a list of assisted living facilities in your area from the comfort of your own home. Some states have additional resources available for seniors who are interested in assisted living, but these resources will vary by state. To learn more about housing options for seniors, download our free guide.