Assisted living housing is a residential care facility that provides long-term housing, support services and medical services to seniors, typically age 55 and older, who require assistance with basic activities of daily living such as dressing, grooming and bathing.
Assisted living housing is perfect for seniors who cannot live independently in their own homes but do not need the intensive medical care provided in the typical nursing home. This type of housing is appropriate for residents with minor health issues, mobility problems or dementia.
What to Expect From Assisted Living Housing
Assisted living housing facilities are designed specifically for seniors who want to maintain as independent of a lifestyle as possible, but who need help accomplishing everyday tasks. Assisted living communities provide professional assistance with:
- Meal preparation and feeding
- Managing medications
- Laundry and housekeeping
Some facilities have special units for residents with dementia or Alzheimer's and may offer specialized memory care services. Assisted living housing is not designed for seniors with severe, chronic illnesses that need constant monitoring by medical personnel.
Unlike other types of senior care, assisted living services are often tailored to meet each resident's individual needs. Residents are re-evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that their care level is adjusted as their needs change. Although assisted living residents are not under constant care of doctors and nurses they do have access to medical care in case of an emergency. Most facilities offer call buttons or cords that connect the resident to on-site staff.
Pros and Cons of Assisted Living Housing
The major advantage of assisted living over other forms of senior housing is the flexibility that this type of facility offers. With each service plan being tailored to individual needs, seniors can maintain an independent lifestyle while having the proper level of assistance.
Assisted living housing communities also take special care to offer residents a range of wellness, fitness, social, entertainment and educational options.
One of the few disadvantages of assisted living housing, however, is that should a resident experience a long-term serious illness, a move to a nursing home would be necessary. Another disadvantage for many families is that assisted living costs are almost entirely paid for with private funds.
Cost of Assisted Living Housing
On average, assisted living housing costs about 40% less than a nursing home. Most assisted living centers charge a monthly fee that covers the cost of housing, meals and housekeeping. Charges for extra services are added to that cost based on the level of services required for each resident. Monthly assisted living costs typically range from $1,000-$2,400 per month.
Some facilities are geared towards wealthy clients and the costs of those facilities can be substantially more expensive. Medicaid may help cover the costs of extra services required by residents but does not contribute to room and board. Many long-term care insurance policies and veterans benefits will cover the costs of assisted living housing.
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Written by senior housing staff writer.