Assisted living centers are long-term residential care facilities, often resembling large apartment complexes, that employ professional caregivers to provide assistance with basic activities of daily living to seniors.
Assisted living centers differ from traditional nursing homes in that assisted living does not provide specialized medical care. Seniors who live in an assisted living center are able maintain a healthy and active lifestyle while receiving the support and care they need.
Who Lives In Assisted Living Centers?
Assisted living centers are designed for seniors who do not have a serious health condition that requires constant supervision. Seniors living in assisted living centers don't normally suffer from weaknesses or illnesses which hamper their movements, although many centers are designed to be wheelchair and walker friendly.
Seniors should consider a move to an assisted living center when the regular chores of life such as cooking, cleaning, shopping or even getting up and down the stairs become too much. Assisted living centers are also a great way to forge new social connections and stay active, which can become difficult for seniors who remain in a single-family home.
What Services Are Offered At Assisted Living Centers?
To ensure the safety, health and happiness of residents, assisted living centers provide two categories of service: personal care and hospitality services. Personal care services are provided by professional caregivers that are often on site 24 hours a day.
Caregiving services include personal assistance with:
- Taking medications
Assisted living centers also provide room and board to residents with a host of hotel-style services for their comfort. These can include:
- Building and grounds maintenance
Many assisted living centers also employ licensed nurses to oversee the discharge of medications as well as the overall health of each resident. Some centers will also contract with local providers to offer on-site physical and occupational therapy, massage and doctor’s visits.
How Much Do Assisted Living Centers Cost?
The cost of living in an assisted living center will vary due to location, size and level of service, but average rates can range from about $800-$4,000 per month or $9,600-$48,000 per year. Fees will generally include the cost of room, board and basic assistance, but additional fees may be charged based on the amount of services used.
Although some private long-term care insurance companies will finance assisted living, it is generally not covered by most healthcare plans. Medicare, the government health plan for U.S. citizens over the age of 65, does not cover assisted living care.
Medicaid, a government medical plan for low-income people, may cover some of the cost of long-term care for seniors who meet certain income requirements. Veterans benefits and other special groups also offer some financing for assisted living.
Find Assisted Living Centers
Assisted living centers are a great option for seniors who can no longer live independently at home but do not require the intensive care of a nursing home. Browse our comprehensive directory to Find Assisted Living.
Written by senior housing staff writer.