The Basics of Assisted Living

Article originally appeared on https://www.assistedliving.org/

Assisted living is a type of senior care that provides older adults with personal care assistance and assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs). Residents of assisted living facilities (ALFs) can retain as much independence as they’re able while still receiving necessary assistance with personal care tasks such as laundry, meal preparation, and grooming. Most ALFs also offer opportunities for socialization and entertainment, such as planned activities and seminars. They also frequently have some on-site amenities such as a fitness center, barbershop, and formal dining rooms.

Assisted living communities do not provide skilled medical care. Seniors who need this high level of care are better suited for nursing home care. However, ALFs do assist residents with medication management, transportation to and from appointments, and first-aid and emergency care. Staff also remain on-site around-the-clock to assist residents during any emergencies. 

Benefits of Assisted Living

Staff is available around-the-clock

Though ALFs are not the best fit for seniors who need high-level, around-the-clock care, the staff is on-site at all hours of the day and night to assist residents when needed. Staff are always present to provide support during emergencies and get residents the help they need. Having staff readily available at all times can give peace of mind for both residents and their families that help is always there if an emergency does occur. 

Communities have on-site amenities for residents to enjoy

Most ALFs feature on-site amenities such as a fitness center, art studio, barbershop and beauty salon, and common areas. Having all of these amenities on-site makes them easy for seniors to enjoy and eliminates the need to organize transportation to participate in fulfilling activities. On-site amenities also serve as a community meeting place where residents can get together and enjoy the community’s amenities as a group. 

Care is tailored to each individual’s needs

ALFs provide care to residents on an as-needed basis. So, someone who only needs assistance with one or two of their ADLs have access to that care, but can otherwise live independently. In this way, assisted living residents receive all of the care that they need, and nothing extraneous that they do not. 

Residents can choose how they’d like to spend their time

Other than scheduled meal times, residents have their entire days to spend as they please. They have the freedom to decide whether to spend their day relaxing, using group transportation to run errands, or participate in on-site events. And because amenities and activities are available on-site, seniors who no longer drive or struggle with mobility still have plenty of options available to them. Alternatively, introverted or quiet residents have the freedom to spend their days independently. 

Residents have many opportunities to socialize

Assisted living communities, especially the larger ones, are social environments. Living in a community of other seniors provides many opportunities for residents to form friendships and socialize with one another. On-site events and activities like musical performances, art classes, and holiday parties present many changes for residents to engage and mingle, helping stave off feelings of isolation that sometimes come with old age. 

Community staff handles all exterior and interior home maintenance

Household tasks like cleaning and landscaping can be physically taxing and dangerous for those who have mobility or balance challenges. Assisted living staff handles all aspects of interior and exterior maintenance, including apartment repairs and housekeeping. Residents can be free of the burden of home maintenance and simply enjoy all that the ALF has to offer.

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