When a senior is no longer able to handle his or her day to day life on his or her own, an assisted living facility is an option to be considered. This type of living arrangement is best suited to older people who need some help on a regular basis, but who are not in need of the 24 hour medical care that a nursing home would provide.
Assisted living facilities may also be called personal care homes, supervised care facilities or board and care homes. Most assisted living facilities have been converted from houses or apartment complexes, or buildings like schools that have been renovated and overhauled for residential use.
Generally, they have a communal dining area, as well as social and recreational facilities. Privacy may be afforded in apartments equipped with small kitchens in some assisted living facilities.
For residents who prefer not to have some or all of their meals in the dining hall, assistants are available to prepare meals in the residents' apartments so they can make their own decisions as to when they prefer privacy over socializing.
Other personal care homes provide private rooms or rooms that a resident may share with a roommate for lower rates. Usually housekeeping, laundry and shopping assistance are readily available for those residents that opt to make use of them.
Help is available for residents who need it to dress, or for other types of personal care. This could be help in brushing their teeth or combing their hair. They may need help in and out of the tub.
Residents can live with the amount and type of privacy that they desire and are able to handle. Beyond these levels, assisted living homes provide 'round the clock care and support in whatever areas needed. Nursing staff are on duty at all times, to offer medical care to any resident that needs it.
Residents who are able can continue doing the things they enjoyed in the past, doing their own shopping if they choose, visiting friends, going out as they choose. Some residents may find -- perhaps to their surprise -- that an assisted living facility will actually give them a new lease on their social lives.