Geared toward seniors who can no longer live safely alone at home, assisted living services provide an alternative to traditional nursing home care. Encompassing a range of personal care services, assisted living can include professional help with:
- Personal hygiene
- Meal preparation
- House cleaning
- Other activities of daily living
Assisted living services are a great option for seniors because they allow for "aging in place," the ability of a senior to remain in his home as long as possible and maintain at least some personal independence.
Who Needs Assisted Living Services?
Seniors who receive assisted living services can range in age from their early 60s to late 90s and are in varying degrees of health. Typically a senior will start receiving assisted living services when he and his family decide that he is no longer able to live without some degree of help but would still like to keep up mobility and independence.
Many seniors choose to live in assisted living homes for the amenities they offer as well as the social aspects and activities provided. It is up to the senior and his family to determine what level of assisted living services they will choose depending on their needs and the level of care required.
How Are Assisted Living Services Different?
Assisted living services offer seniors a retirement lifestyle somewhere between total independence and extensive 24-hour skilled nursing care. Assisted living is not for elder adults with serious chronic conditions which need specialized medical care.
Seniors in need of assisted living services may require a basic level of supervision and care but are otherwise free of serious mental or physical issues and are largely independent. They can receive services only as they require them.
How Much Do Assisted Living Services Cost?
Assisted living services can vary widely based upon location and the level of service offered. A national survey* found that the cost of assisted living in the United States averaged $3,293 per month in 2010.
Assisted living costs tend to be higher in large urban areas, such as Washington DC, which had a monthly fee of $5,231—the highest in the country, and lower in rural areas such as in Arkansas, where the rate averaged $2,073 per month.
How Do I Pay for Assisted Living Services?
Most times seniors and their families will pay the cost of assisted living services from personal savings but sometimes residential long-term care facilities will offer financial help. Private health insurance and long-term care insurance policies may also provide financial benefits that can go towards assisted living services.
Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living but some states offer Medicaid waivers to help low-income seniors and their families pay for assisted living care. Veteran’s benefits will also cover the cost of long-term care for United States veterans and their spouses.
Find Assisted Living Services
Assisted living services can help seniors maintain their independence by tailoring the level of care to their own personal needs. Browse our comprehensive directory to Find Assisted Living nationwide.
Written by senior housing writing staff.