It’s not always easy to talk about aging. As we grow older, certain tasks can become more difficult, which can cause a lot of frustration. While this is completely normal, it can be hard to navigate anything that challenges our independence like moving into a residential care facility. Rather than getting stuck on what aspects of life are becoming more challenging, we can live in a place that works with us, with our quality of life in mind.
Assisted living facilities function just as their name implies; providing services to seniors who need assistance to lead a full life and maintain independence, in a safe environment. According to the CDC, there are over 28,000 assisted living facilities in the United States today, helping over 900,000 residents daily. The idea of taking the first step might feel daunting, so it’s helpful to understand a bit about what these communities can do for our quality of life. In this article, we will go over everything senior assisted living communities offer, how the communities can benefit you, and how to pay for assisted living.
- What does assisted living provide?
- What is the difference between assisted living and independent living?
- What are activities of daily living (ADLs)?
- What assisted living doesn’t provide
- What it’s like to live in an assisted living community
- Benefits of assisted living
- When should you consider assisted living?
- How much does assisted living cost?
- Does Medicare or Medicaid cover assisted living?
- Final Thoughts
What does assisted living provide?
All assisted living facilities provide the same array of basic services. While they might seem simple, they are imperative to maintaining a healthy routine and quality of life. Forgetfulness is often a sign of aging and having someone there to help manage your day can really make a difference.
This is what you can expect while living at an Eden Senior Care community:
Meals prepared three times a day
Meals are an exciting time for residents, and it is something they look forward to. In the assisted living communities, no meal is excluded, and the chefs make sure to include the healthy nutrition needed for seniors to stay healthy. Best of all, there is no stress on seniors to go grocery shopping, cook and then clean up after themselves. Residents are encouraged to drink from hydration carts and eat snacks throughout the day to make sure they are getting their caloric intake. Meals at our communities are a time to sit back, enjoy and socialize with friendly neighbors.
24/7 caregivers support
Offering support at all hours of the day or night, caregivers are always there for our residents. Families can relax knowing their loved one is being taken care of and supervised at all times. Some communities offer memory care if needed, too. At Eden Senior Care, our dementia-trained team members deliver expert care with a fun and caring attitude. Remember, your care is personalized to you.
Assisted living facilities take the worry out of medication management for seniors. Family members can relax knowing their loved one’s medication is being managed and controlled. Any and all daily tasks are taken care of by supportive caregivers if needed.
With the help of the resident’s caregivers, they will stay looking and feeling fresh! Personal care is important so that we can feel the best. Care staff take care of tasks such as dressing, toileting and personal hygiene and are there to support residents where it is needed so they are safe and happy and can focus on their wellbeing.
Transportation to and from appointments
Aside from forgetfulness, seniors may have issues standing up from a seated position, sitting up. There are cases when seniors should not be driving, and they can put their safety at risk if they do so. With the transportation services at assisted living facilities, scheduling a ride is super easy and stress-free. Our residences include transportation services to help seniors get to and from their destinations safely.
There is always something fun to do! Activities vary by location but may include field trips to local attractions, exercise classes, live music, game nights, movie nights and more. Team members get to know the residents and encourage them to participate in activities they might enjoy to help get their energy levels up and bring more joy to their lives.
The goal is to help seniors with chores that can be overwhelming for them. Housekeeping is included as a service to alleviate the residents and have them focus on more enjoyable activities instead.
While some communities might offer more than the basics, you can be sure that all of them will cover these helpful essentials.
What is the difference between assisted living and independent living?
Independent living does not provide medical care or nursing support. Seniors might not have regular contact with the staff unless they sign up for a meal or other service. Independent living is more focused on convenience and an active lifestyle. Eden Senior Care offers independent living apartments for older adults. To know if your specific facility offers these services, give them a call.
What are activities of daily living (ADLs)?
“Activities of Daily Living” refer to the daily personal care tasks that enable someone to live comfortably and with pride. These can include bathing, getting dressed, eating, using the bathroom, walking, and getting to and from bed.
The National Center for Assisted Living conducted a study with findings that determined:
- 64% of residents require help with bathing
- 48% of residents need help getting dressed
- 57% need help walking
- 19% need help eating
- 40% need help using the bathroom
- 29% need assistance getting to bed
Having the ability to accomplish these routine tasks is essential in maintaining a good quality of life and sense of dignity, so they are always viewed as a priority by caretakers.
What assisted living doesn’t provide
While assisted living residences provide a range of helpful services, certain license-bearing services might not be available. You won’t get the full range of medical services that are available at skilled nursing facilities. For those interested in long-term medical care, assisted living facilities might not have all the resources necessary for supporting true quality of life. We recommend you call your specific facility for a full list of services provided.
Many assisted living facilities offer certain specialized care services, so you might find what you need, depending on what is available in your area.
All states have their own licensing requirements, so make sure you understand the terminology being used by the organization before you make any commitments. Don’t be afraid to reach out to make sure your needs are going to be met.
What it’s like to live in an assisted living community
The best part about assisted living is the built-in community and social interaction. Most senior citizens living in their own homes don’t have much opportunity to socialize and interact with others. When you live in an assisted living community, you can simply choose to participate in the different social activities and events available to you.
On average, there are roughly 33 licensed beds per living community, with larger facilities housing over 100 residents and smaller ones with 10. With over 28,000 facilities nationwide, there is sure to be a community that’s a good fit for everyone. If you live in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Ohio, make sure to check out our senior living communities available to you. To view our locations, please visit edenseniorhc.com/locations.
It is also important to know that unless a community is specified to be for men, most facilities boast a larger female population. It should be noted that the average stay in assisted living is about 22 months. After that, many residents will move on to more specialized nursing facilities that offer certain medical services.
Benefits of assisted living
While specific amenities may vary, all assisted living facilities provide peace of mind for residents and their loved ones. For the residents, they can rest easy knowing they will always have someone available to check on them. What’s even better, they don’t need to feel like a burden on friends and family, especially if they were beginning to depend on them for a lot of regular activities. Residents won’t need to worry about feeling lonely if friends and family aren’t around to spend time with them either. Having a built-in community allows residents to feel a sense of belonging in addition to having people of similar age and interests to relate to.
Not only do residents benefit, but loved ones get to have peace of mind as well. Oftentimes, the relatives of residents have their own children and households to manage, so it can become overwhelming when a parent requires more and more assistance. Knowing that there is always someone there to keep an eye out for your loved one is the type of reassurance most people need. Even if you aren’t expecting anything to go wrong, it’s just helpful to have the backup in place. It’s also nice to know that your loved one has a social environment to participate in when you aren’t around.
Some communities even have more specialized services for residents with specific needs. According to the National Center for Assisted Living, up to 14.3% of assisted living facilities have a designated unit and specialized care for patients with dementia. Those with more severe cases might benefit from the 8.7% of communities that only serve residents with dementia.
When should you consider assisted living?
If you or a loved one is experiencing challenges associated with aging, assisted living might be something to consider.
- Forgetting or having difficulty with daily tasks
- Unpaid bills or mail piling up
- Weight loss or an irregular meal schedule
- Unexplained or repeated vehicle damage
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Trouble sitting or standing independently
- Random bruises or scratches
- Poor hygiene and worn or dirty clothing
- Extreme mood changes
- Messy or dirty home
- Noticeable signs of depression
- Expired groceries
These topics might feel sensitive to approach, however, it’s really a matter of safety. So, it’s in everyone’s best interest to address them as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater your potential risk becomes. Rather than waiting for an incident to motivate you to seek some assistance, consider a long-term care facility with trained staff members as soon the signs start to show.
How much does assisted living cost?
The cost of assisted living depends on several factors, with the location being one of them. A Genworth Financial survey reports the national median as $4,000 monthly or $48,000 annually. Of course, this will vary depending on the state, level of care, and type of senior facility. For example, the average 2021 monthly cost in Wisconsin for assisted living facilities was $4,600. The average monthly cost for Minnesota assisted living facilities was also close to the national average, coming in at $4,508. States like New York and California run a bit higher, as expected, starting above $5,000 monthly.
Private, for-profit institutions might have a lot of amenities but will cost more than a publicly funded facility. However, reports show that people are generally pleased with most assisted living facilities. Because there are so many, most residents can find a place that suits their personal preferences and financial needs.
At Eden Senior Care, our admission specialists are there to go over your insurance plans to help maximize your benefits. Make sure to call your specific facility for more information.
Does Medicare or Medicaid cover assisted living?
The National Center for Assisted Living explains that while Medicaid can help cover some costs for assisted living, Medicare typically does not. This is because Medicare by default doesn’t cover long-term care costs.
Depending on your state, Medicaid might help cover several expenses associated with long-term assisted living care. Since these programs vary by state, the best way to assess your financial need is to reach out to a representative local to you. NCAL reports that 1 in 6 assisted living residents relies on Medicaid to cover their long-term care costs. While Medicaid does not typically cover room and board expenses, they are able to cover costs for daily services you might receive at an assisted living facility.
Even if you don’t feel an immediate need to seek out an assisted living facility, it never hurts to be informed. Many people will go without the help they need because they aren’t financially prepared at the time. As previously mentioned, this type of thing creates a larger risk that could ultimately be avoided. When you know what to expect and have an idea of what your options are, it makes it much easier to handle what life throws at you.
If you or a loved one are considering assisted living as an option in Wisconsin, Minnesota or Ohio, please speak with one of the specialized intake professionals at Eden Senior Health Care. We can answer any questions you have, schedule a tour of a facility near you or go over specific expenses.