We all want what’s best for our senior loved ones. That’s doubly true when it becomes clear that they need more help in their daily lives than the family can provide. Unfortunately, wanting our older loved ones to have the best care possible and knowing how to find the optimum level of care are two very different things.
For many families, an assisted living community is the ideal choice when their older loved one begins to need more support.
7 Things You Might Not Know About Assisted Living
Here is some information that explains how assisted living communities work so you can decide if it’s the right choice for your senior loved one.
1. Assisted Living is Different Than a Nursing Home
An assisted living community is a very different type of community than the old-fashioned concept of a “nursing home.” Assisted living communities are residences designed for older persons who need help with their normal daily activities. And although many communities have on-call nurses available 24 hours a day, the goal of assisted living is to facilitate as much independence as possible.
2. There is No One Definition for the Term “Assisted Living Community”
Each community has a distinct “personality” and offers different levels of care and services. While it can make it a bit tougher to compare one community with another, it also provides you with more options from which to choose. Make sure you do your research and ask the right questions to find a community that is a good fit for your older loved one’s personality and needs.
3. Not all Assisted Living Communities are Created Equal
It’s also important for you to know that some companies will cater to your senior loved one’s needs more than others. This means the community will offer more than just the basic services and amenities. It might be a broader range of on-site wellness programs or transportation services to help residents get to appointments and attend to personal business.
4. Social Activities are an Important Part of Assisted Living
Assisted living communities both facilitate and encourage the social lives of their residents. While it goes without saying that your older loved one will never be obligated to participate in anything, the best communities offer multiple opportunities for group outings, meals, and other meaningful social events every day.
5. Residents Are Free to Set Their Own Schedules
Residents in assisted living communities don’t give up their freedom and independence when they move in. In fact, caregivers are dedicated to helping them maintain both. For example, providing a helping hand with bathing and grooming might allow a senior to remain in their own assisted living apartment longer and avoid moving to a higher, less private level of care.
6. Pets are Allowed in Many Assisted Living Communities
Make sure to do your research in advance to see what restrictions, if any, are placed on the size and weight of your loved one’s pet(s). Keep in mind that furry companions are not only allowed in some assisted living communities, but pets are actually encouraged to help keep seniors happy and healthy.
7. Assisted Living is More Affordable Than You Might Think
Although the total cost depends on a variety of factors, assisted living is more affordable than many families imagine. And there are several convenient ways to help pay for the assisted living care that your loved one needs, including long-term care insurance and the Aid & Attendance Benefit for qualifying veterans, their spouses, and widows.
We’re Here to Help No Matter What Your Family Decides
Hopefully, what we’ve shared with you here has shed new light on the subject of assisted living communities. At The Pines what matters most is that your senior loved one receives the best care possible.
Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or would like more information about our services or assisted living in general.