Today’s Choices for Assisted Living

A time may come, probably due to advancing years, when we need assistance in our daily lives. In years past, seniors who needed assistance lived at home with relatives or in a nursing home. Generally, nursing homes are suitable for those that have special medical needs and are quite disabled. Living with a relative at home is not always possible.

Now, we have another alternative: Residential care facilities, another term for assisted living, offer everything from independent living to assisted living with progressive levels of assistance.. Assisted living facilities generally offer custodial care, however some are able to provide for terminal residents with the help of visiting nurses and hospice care. Meal preparation, transportation for outings, group activities, laundry service, and dining services are available along with care giving for activities of daily living as needed in this type of living arrangement. Help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and medication management are included as required. These services are provided in a secure setting with a homelike, residential atmosphere.

In some state, assisted living facilities, called Board and Care, have recently become plentiful. They are generally operating in a residential home, housing from three to ten seniors. Sole proprietors often run these facilities by themselves, hiring additional caregivers so that they can provide coverage around the clock, seven days a week. Because they are small, the care is very personal, and the resident has the feeling of living at home. Many assisted living facilities contract with home health agency, visiting doctors and nurses so that the can provide all necessary services until the end of life, even though they don’t have these services available in their own staff.Without the layers of management and skilled professionals of the larger assisted living facilities, board and care homes often operate with less overhead. They are often run by people who have a genuine love of the elderly, and treat them with the same love and care as they would treat a family member. Due to their smaller size, they don’t usually have a robust marketing plan, and often get their residents by word of mouth and referrals.

All assisted living facilities are licensed by the individual states,with different requirements in each state. There is no nationwide standard of care for assisted living facilities. There are many difference from one state to the next, and also differences within the same state. Some of the facilities are small, and can be operated in a residential home. Others are large, offering apartments and services in apartment building like settings.

Assisted living facilities usually offer a home like appearance, offering private apartments with doors that lock, instead of the hospital look of a skilled nursing home. They offer a concierge or a receptionist to greet guests and to address the needs of residents. Living and socializing areas are strategically placed throughout the facility to house both large and small gatherings. Activities that welcome residents as well as guests range from arts and crafts, guest speakers, to music sing-a-longs.

Separate wings are offered at many assisted living facilities for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. There is a greater ratio of caregivers to residents in these memory care units, and security is offered to prevent wandering.Some residents of assisted living facilities live there simply because they find it convenient. Their needs are easily met, and they live in a place where they are able to make friends, go on outings and participate in group activities. They rest assured that should their need for assistance increase, the additional services will be available for them without relocating.

Find more information about assisted living facilities in your state, and be sure to visit assisted living facilities in Orange Countyif you live in or around Orange County, California.

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