It is easy to assume and associate an assisted living community with a ‘nursing home’ – but this is simply not the case. Over the past three decades’ health care and senior care professionals have worked tirelessly to improve upon and design assisted living homes. Developing residences which actually feel like home, helping to put your mind at ease that assisted living does not signify ‘the end’!
Here are the top five things you should know about assisted living communities:
Care is not one dimensional but multi-functional
Most assisted living communities will offer various types of care – making them a more cost-effective, residential option for ill or aging parents, or loved ones. The greater the assisted living community’s licensing, the higher degree of care offered.
Different types of care range from: health care, physical care, assistance with eating, bathing, walking, mobility, psychological care, specialised Alzheimer’s and dementia care and more.
No assisted living community is the same
With the actual care offered at the community aside, each living facility offers its own perks, charisma, atmosphere, environment and range of activities which make it unique and welcoming to ill or elderly parents. Some communities may follow a more traditional, formal style, while others may offer a more homely, relaxed ambiance.
Assisted living communities come in all shapes in sizes, so it’s important to personally visit each one you are interested in and get a ‘feel’ of what the atmosphere is like and whether your loved one will truly fit in there.
Pets are welcome too!
While some assisted living communities have different policies, generally all communities will allow for pets. It’s important though to do your research beforehand to gauge what the policy limitations stipulate for each community. Some assisted living communities may offer ‘pet interviews’, while others even include pet carers who offer help with certain breeds of pet!
Assisted living costs are lower than you think
When compared to many health or nursing home institutions, assisted living communities often come out far less expensive. It’s also worth noting that many seniors of today understand the implications of not ‘preparing’ for their golden years and have pay-out policies which will cover part of the costs associated with assisted care.
Having the discussion with your loved one as to whether part of their savings or budget will cover the month-to-month costs, is hugely important before making a final decision regarding assisted living.
Most communities strive to place couples together
If you are worried that your parents might be separated when being placed into an assisted living community – worry not! Many communities take into consideration that one partner may require more than another, but ultimately do their best to place couples in double-occupancy rooms. This can be a more costly option, so it’s important to do your research and calculations beforehand according to the space and care needs your parents will require. The process of arranging care and assisted living for couples can be more complicated, but in the end, it is well worth it in order to avoid your parents being separated!
When it comes to assisted living care, it’s not a decision to be made lightly, but it’s important to know that you do have options. Making the decision of placing your loved one into an assisted living community does not make you a ‘bad person’ or neglectful child or spouse. You may even find it is the best possible decision you and your elderly parent or spouse has ever made!