Assisted Living: A Complete Overview

For many of us, the goal is to live out our senior years in our own homes, which isn’t always possible. Most adults over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. When support offered in the home is just not enough, long-term care may need to take place at a residential facility.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living facilities are for seniors or those who are handicapped who can get around autonomously, but still need help in some areas of their daily living (also referred to as ADLs). Assisted living facilities provide many services that are necessary and embraced by many of these folks. These types of homes offer medical care and shelter that families may not have the time to provide due to work schedules and living arrangements.

The assisted living definition, according to Wikipedia, is “a housing facility for people with disabilities or for adults who cannot or choose not to live independently.” The term assisted living is very popular in the United States.

Senior assisted living facilities are often considered the step between independent living and a nursing home or skilled nursing facility.

Start your search today!

Assisted Living Homes

Assisted living homes are located all over the United States, and amenities can vary greatly. Some are found in large cities, while others are established in more rural areas. Assisted living facility services can differ significantly in cost depending on services offered, the geographical area in which it’s located, and the number of services rendered.

What Does Assisted Living Provide?

Assisted living provides many services that are not available when an elderly person lives on their own. For instance, many assisted living homes offer the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance
  • Personal care staff
  • Nurses
  • Medication assistants
  • Foodservice
  • Activities
  • 24-hour security
  • Transportation
  • Socialization

How Does Assisted Living Work Financially?

The best way to think about affording assisted living is to have a savings plan set up for when the time comes. With the help of a financial or estate planner, it is possible to predetermine the cost of moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, depending on the living arrangement and medical care needed.

Beginning in 2019, Medicaid started paying for some of the cost of assisted living in 44 states, including the District of Columbia. Medicaid-assisted living is still less expensive than residing in a nursing home, which provides around the clock medical care and supervision.

Assisted Living Federal Regulations

It is essential to note the federal government does not mandate the regulations for assisted living facilities or independent living.

Assisted Living Requirements

The requirements to reside in an assisted living facility will vary state by state. The basic requirements are as follows:

  • The resident does not need constant help to be able to walk or get up or downstairs
  • Is mentally able to help develop a service plan
  • Is in reasonably good health and not a danger to themselves or others
  • Does not require 24-hour skilled nursing care

If you or someone you love is an active senior who doesn’t wish to live on your own, assisted living communities may be the answer. If you are actively searching for an assisted living facility in your area, you can perform a quick search on CareWindow to find an assisted living facility near you. Taking the time to plan and visit the assisted living homes will help you make an informed decision. By visiting the facilities, you’ll witness what amenities and services they offer while getting all of your important questions answered.

The difference between independent and assisted living is you or your loved senior will get the appropriate help when it’s needed in an assisted living facility. For those who may need a little extra care, assisted living offers care with a constant level of socialization that helps to keep the mind sharp with conversation and engagement with diverse people. 

daughter hugging father in assisted living care facility