Services Provided by an Assisted Living Facility
Each state has different licensing requirements for assisted living service providers as no such national standard of care exists. Some assisted living facilities are attached to, share the same campus with, or even share the same building as skilled nursing facilities, so they can provide more advanced medical care than other facilities. However, we have compiled the following list of basic services that are offered at the majority of assisted living residences. Of course each individual resident may have special needs or require specific types of care, this list should serve as a general overview of the minimum you should expect from a quality assisted living facility.
Basic Medical Monitoring – facilities will address the residents basic medical needs such as daily medication administration.
Daily Activities Care – this will include assistance with getting dressed, moving around, toileting, bathing or any other daily living need that the resident needs help with.
24-hour Supervision and Security – residents have comfort knowing that there is constant supervision and security at the facility should any emergencies arise. Many facilities have emergency alert systems in place.
Meals – although clients might have kitchens in their residences and can prepare their own meals, the facilities usually provide 3 meals/day.
Housekeeping – the residents’ rooms/apartments are offered basic housekeeping services.
Laundry – laundry service is typically provided at an assisted living complex.
Transportation – some residents may still drive and own a vehicle but typically transportation is provided to the residents.
Health and Exercise Programs – residents have access to a variety of health and exercise programs.
Social Programs – one of the biggest benefits of assisted living is the social environment. Residents can interact with other seniors in the facility in numerous ways.
Customization of Care and Different Levels of Costs
The medical and personal care needs vary greatly from resident-to-resident and between facilities. However, typically an assisted living community interviews each new perspective resident to find out what their individual needs are. Based on this interview process, the facility then comes up with a personalized plan of care suited for the resident. Learn more about the assisted living care plan here. Because of this “customization” of care, the residents will have varying costs. Some assisted living facilities include the cost of basic care in the standard monthly rate, however many prefer to set a base monthly rate, then increase the rate according the level of care needed. Other facilities may even charge on a points based system that would charge a certain amount of points based on the different services the resident receives.
Examples of Factors Determining Level of Care
Some examples of care factors involved in determining the level of care and amount of cost for an individual could be:
- Can the resident fully/partially dress or is assistance required?
- Can the resident bath without assistance?
- Can the resident move around without any assistance? Do they use a walker, wheelchair or motorized scooter?
- Can the resident prepare his or her own meals? Do they need help feeding themselves?
These are some very common questions that would need to be answered during the evaluation process to develop the care plan. The more assistance a resident requires, the greater the cost for the facility (in most cases).