WHAT IS ASSISTED LIVING?
Assisted living facilities are for people needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) but wishing to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Assisted living exists to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes. Residents in assisted living centers are not able to live by themselves but do not require constant care either. Assisted living facilities offer help with ADLs such as eating, bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, mobility, incontinence and assistance with medications. Many facilities also have centers for medical care; however, the care offered may not be as intensive or available to residents as the care offered at a nursing home. Assisted living is not an alternative to a nursing home, but an intermediate level of long-term care appropriate for many seniors.
Most assisted living facilities create a service plan for each individual resident upon admission. The service plan details the personalized services required by the resident and guaranteed by the facility. The plan is updated regularly to assure that the resident receives the appropriate care as his or her condition changes.
The term used for assisted living facilities differs across the country. Other common terms for these facilities include:
- Residential care
- Personal care
- Adult congregate living care
- Board and care
- Domiciliary care
- Adult living facilities
- Supported care
- Enhanced care
- Community based retirement facilities
- Adult foster care
- Adult homes
- Sheltered housing
- Retirement residences
Assisted living is the generic term used across the country.
How Does an Assisted Living Facility Differ from a Nursing Home?
Nursing homes are designed to care for very frail people that may be bedfast; require ambulation assistance with a hoyer lift; require respirators or IV therapy, restraints, or very complex calorie count therapeutic diets. Assisted living facilities are often deemed necessary when the person in question needs help preparing meals, bathing, dressing, mobility, toileting, performing household chores, is sometimes confused, or is experiencing memory problems.
What are Continuing Care Retirement Communities?
A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) generally is a continuum of healthcare that usually houses independent living, assisted living and nursing/skilled care all in one building or on one campus. While the benefit of moving easily from one level to the next generally is available, in each level the environment is usually very different, and still feels like a significant change to the elderly person. At the Inn at Belden Village the nurses that are on duty 24-hours, the Special Care environment; the Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Hospice interventions available truly allow the individual to “age in place” without changing their “home” environment.
What is Independent Living?
Independent living is for people who want to and are able to live independently but do not want to maintain a home. Many people prefer to live in a community with others of the same age and with similar interests. An independent retirement community allows for a great deal of social activities and trips. Many independent living facilities also offer prepared meals and provide a wide range of amenities.