Placing an elderly parent or spouse into an assisted living facility is one of the most difficult decisions family members have to make. Making the decision even more difficult is the fact that there are many myths and misconceptions in regard to assisted living facilities that are no longer applicable in our current society.
8 Things You May Not Know About Assisted Living
- Different Levels of Care for Different Levels of Need
Not all residents require the same level of care, whether that care pertains to medical, social, or even spiritual needs. Staff at assisted living facilities are committed to giving each resident the level of care they need. Depending upon the needs of the resident, care can range from constant medical care to check-ups with the doctor on staff.
- Residents Enjoy a Communal Setting
A majority of US assisted living facilities are actually small, safe, elderly-friendly communities. Residents are encouraged to socialize, make friendships, and get to know not only the other residents, but the staff and doctors as well. And because all individuals are welcome, residents get to be part of a diverse and culturally rich assisted living community.
- Specialized Care for Dementia Patients
Most assisted living facilities are equipped to handle residents diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and those experiencing a declining mental state. Most assisted living facilities have access to emergency and regular medical services and treatments. Some even specialize in handling and caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Couples are Welcome
In many assisted living facilities, couples are welcome, and residential assisted living has become surprisingly affordable for them. Some of the conveniences of couples assisted living include on-campus doctors and pharmacies as well as social activities that one or both members of the couple can enjoy.
- Pets are Welcome
This may depend upon the facility the family chooses, but if your loved one has a furry, feathered, or even aquatic friend, many newer assisted living facilities are more than happy to provide a place for residents’ pets.
- An Assisted Living Facility is Not the Same Thing as a Nursing Home
Residents of assisted living facilities are more mobile and active. Assisted living facilities focus more on helping active, healthy residents to live a rich, fulfilled life, while providing them the companionships of others in the same age group. Residents enjoy a wide range of age-appropriate activities. In a nursing home, residents typically need help with their day-to-day activities, tasks and needs.
Many assisted living facilities are more affordable than a nursing home. There are a variety of amenities available to the residents, but if a resident doesn’t need or want a particular service, they don’t have to get it, and that price is excluded from their monthly bill.
- Assisted Living is Not “One Size Fits All”
Not all assisted living facilities are the same. Each place offers their own range of activities and amenities for residents. Research and tours are an important part of the facility “shopping” process, and everyone is encouraged to do their own research, schedule tours, and discuss available options with not only the potential resident, but the facility staff as well.
Don’t let myths keep you from letting your loved one enjoy the care and companionship that they will receive in an assisted living facility. Learning about assisted living is the best way to make an informed decision that is in the best interested of an aged loved one.