Losing independence is a fear many seniors share as they face the prospect of not being able to care for themselves any longer. Some are able to rely on family and friends for help.
But many find that they need more help with everyday tasks. Assisted living may be the solution.
Assisted living is generally considered an intermediate level of care for seniors who are not able to be completely independent, but who do not have serious medical issues that require high level medical care on a daily basis.
Assisted living facilities vary in styles including houses, large single building facilities, and campus-like facilities with multiple buildings. Individual residents typically have a room or apartment of their own and share common spaces such as dining halls and activity rooms.
Assisted living offers the benefit of on-site staff 24-hours a day who are available to help with tasks of everyday living such as bathing, dressing, keeping track of medications, housecleaning, and laundry.
Residents may have a private bedroom, or a small apartment which may include a kitchenette. Assisted living typically includes three prepared meals per day which are served to all residents in a shared dining hall.
Social activities are usually included such as game rooms, outings to shows or other events, and other shared activities. Some facilities also have transportation available to take residents to appointments and shopping.
Assisted living allows residents to be as independent as they are able or willing to be. Benefits include readily available help with everyday tasks, as well as the security of knowing other people are close by and available to help, in case of an illness or accident, such as a fall. Many seniors who had been living at home alone also find comfort in having social activities and friends close at hand so they are less lonely.
The cost of assisted living varies significantly from city to city and from facility to facility. Many charge a flat monthly fee as a base price with additional charges for specific services as they are needed.