Most people imagine assisted living situations as services for the elderly. While that isn’t untrue, there’s more that this form of long-term care covers. Any individual who requires assistance with daily activities requires this form of care. Here’s what the assistance in assisted living actually means and how it is used.
Defining Assisted Living
When an individual requires assistance with their normal, daily activities they can receive aid in the from of assisted living. This service can extend to the elderly, those with physical or mental disabilities, and those with permanent medical conditions. It can also be indefinite or short-term depending on the patient’s needs.
Due to the need for 24-hour care, these services are often offered in nursing homes, freestanding communities, or independent housing complexes. These facilities provide supervision around the clock, tend to all health-related needs, and provide a skilled level of personal care.
The ultimate goal is to help residents retain as much of their autonomy and independence as possible. It also helps to keep them safe while encouraging social activity. With trained staff, assisted living communities can also adapt to a patient’s changing needs.
Each community is different, offering a wide variety of patient care services and activities. However, there are plenty of assistance standards that you can expect from any organization. To start, all facilities offer 24-hour supervision to address patient needs, deal with emergencies, and keep residents safe.
All facilities also offer three full meals per day in their dining rooms, with some offering additional snacks or treats. Personal care services ranging from help with bathing to dressing and toileting are also standard.
Medication management and help with self-administration is available. Social services are in place, as are additional care aspects for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. You’ll also find a varying degree of recreational activities, as well as exercise and wellness programs.
Laundry, housekeeping, and maintenance services are also standard. These facilities also arrange for transportation when needed. Some locations, like this assisted living facility in Colorado, even offer a fully functional kitchen in their commons area where residents can cook for themselves.
Part of the assistance offered is ensuring that each patient’s needs are met. Some require extensive care, while others simply need medical staff on hand for their conditions. Everyone has a different level of independence that is met in an assisted living community.
Nurses and staff coordinate to ensure no one feels too restricted in their environment, but also ensure that each resident’s medical needs are attended to. Aspects like dental care are also offered at various locations.
While the accommodations at each facility vary, you can always expect these standards to be met no matter where you go. There are numerous local, state, and federal guidelines that dictate what these facilities must offer their residents. That includes their autonomy as well as their medical care and safety.
Mental health is a very important part of keeping the elderly healthy and happy. Finding engaging activities for them to do is extremely important, such as Cake Decorating Classes, or other activities that require the use of their hands.
The assistance in assisted living isn’t a loss of dignity or rights. It’s simply a service that ensures residents are cared for in a way that makes them feel comfortable while providing them with the means to live a normal, happy life.