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What to Expect from Assisted Living Care?
Top 10 Things to Expect from Assisted Living

Seniors moving to an assisted living facility can expect to maintain a high level of independence along with an active social life filled with activities that best suit them. Assisted living is a place that seniors can stay as busy as they want and in a safe environment that allows them to age in place for as long as possible.

The customized services offered is tailor designed for the older adult and it caters to the level of care needed. As care requirements alter, most assisted living facilities are flexible and able to meet the growing changes.

What Residents Want

What Resident's Want
What Resident's Want
  • Safety
  • Friends
  • Social life
  • Nutrition
  • Cooking
  • Less housework
  • No yard work
  • Transportation
  • Help with daily activities
  • Easy access to medical care

Feeling lonely and alone?

Worried about living alone at home? Are you concerned for your safety? For older adults, living in a residential care facility, gives them peace of mind knowing their environment is safe. If they are frail and fall, or if they're visually impaired or unsteady on their feet--living with others is a safety net. If an older adult falls, or has a health emergency, or a natural disaster occurs, she is not alone. Many facilities offer emergency response systems or pendants to wear, if a resident needs immediate help.

Assisted living gives each person a chance to make new friends. Residents don't worry much about being alone and isolated. Scheduled social events and fitness activities keep them active and engaged. It helps eliminate isolation which produces senior depression, health issues or memory loss.

Finding it hard to shop?

Shopping for grocery and cooking meals is challenging as people get older. If a senior lives alone, he is not motivated to cook for one. Living in an assisted living community, residents receive nutritional, prepared meals, and have menu selections to choose. Eating healthy meals improves overall health and being social during mealtime, aids in digestion. Don't worry about special dietary needs, they'll be met by the cooking staff.

Is transportation a big concern?

Are you having difficulty making doctor's appointments? Driving skills lessen as people get older. At an assisted living facility, residents receive transportation to appointments, shopping, recreation and other outings. Residents are never trapped, unable to get around the larger community.

Are you feeling guilty about being a burden to family?

Do you want your son to come for visits only rather than run errands for you? Assisted living allows family roles to return to normal. Residents never worry about family members scheduling and shifting their life around to give care or to prepare meals. The assisted living staff allows residents to have family relationships again.

Type of Care You can Expect

Care Residents Expect
Care Residents Expect

Assisted living services offer several levels or care. When a resident arrives, he's assessed by a licensed registered nurse who understands his care needs and designs a plan. The services include:

  • Medication management - Administered and re-ordered by the Assisted Living staff
  • Bathing assistance - Ensures safety entering and exiting the shower, stand by assistance or full assistance with bathing.
  • Dressing help - Ensures safety and balance assistance while the resident puts on or takes off clothing.
  • Grooming - Help with brushing, combing hair, shaving, and/or brushing teeth.
  • Toileting - Help with transferring on and off the toilet.
  • Transferring - Moving from bed to chair to walker to wheelchair and assistance/escorting to or from meals, and activities.
  • Pet Care assistance.
  • Laundry.
  • Weekly housekeeping.
  • Scheduling medical appointments.
  • When Needs Change - When Assisted living no longer work

How to Know When Assisted Living Care is No Longer Appropriate?

The following circumstances require a higher level of care than an assisted living can give:

  • Wandering, aggressive behaviors
  • Inability to transfer without help from two staff members
  • Unmanageable Incontinence
  • Higher monitoring needs like diabetes that requires insulin injections by a licensed nurse at varying intervals
  • Resident needs feeding tubes, colostomy care on a regular basis.

One of the most difficult problems in assisted living is admitting and retaining residents--those needing more care than the facility's equipped to give. Most state regulations require medical evaluations, assessments and updated care plans for residents--at least twice yearly.

The evaluations and assessments determine how much care a resident needs and if those needs escalate.

When evaluations are not done or followed, the staff is unable to handle some residents and their needs. Check with the assisted living facility on their staff to resident ratio before making the move.

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.