Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide

Choosing an Assisted Living Residence

The aging of America, together with extended life expectancy, is resulting in an unprecedented demand for all kinds of long-term care services. Among these services are assisted living residences. The philosophy of assisted living is to provide supervision, assistance, and personal care services to senior citizens and individuals with disabilities as needed. The goal is to maintain maximum independence in a home-like setting, while providing individualized care and assistance. Assisted living offers a unique mix of security and independence, privacy and companionship, care and services.

Choosing the appropriate assisted living residence can make all the difference in an individual's mental, physical, and social well being.

Assisted Living Today

Assisted living is part of a continuum of long term care services that provides a combination of housing, personal care services, and health care designed to respond to individuals who need assistance with normal daily activities in a way that promotes maximum independence.

Assisted living services can be provided in freestanding residences, near or integrated with skilled nursing homes or hospitals, as components of continuing care retirement communities, or at independent housing complexes.

Assisted living residences offer a multi-faceted residential setting that provides personal care services, 24-hour supervision and assistance, activities and health-related services, designed to:

Services And Activities

The services and activities provided or arranged for in assisted living residences generally include:

In most states, assisted living residences are registered, licensed or certified by an appropriate department or agency of the state that has a process for issuance of initial licenses and for renewing existing licenses.

Each resident receives individualized services to help him/her function within the residence and within the community. Upon admission, a service plan is usually developed to coordinate the delivery of services to each resident. The agreement, which includes an assessment or evaluation of the resident's physical and psychosocial needs, is reviewed and updated regularly by the staff, and as the resident's condition indicates. The resident and family, or responsible party are encouraged to play an active role in the development of the service plan.

A resident care or wellness coordinator is usually designated to oversee the process of developing, implementing, and evaluating the progress of the service plan. A copy of the service plan is provided to the resident, family, or responsible party upon request.

Personal Care And Health Services

Assisted living residences provide supervision or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs); coordination of services by outside health care providers; and monitoring of resident activities to help to ensure his or her health, safety, and well-being. Assistance may include the administration or supervision of medication, or certain personal care services by a trained staff person.

The residence may assist in arranging the appropriate medical, health, and dental care services for each resident. The resident generally chooses his or her medical doctor and dental services.

Residents who have periods of temporary incapacity due to illness, injury, or recuperation from surgery often are allowed to remain in the residence or to return from a rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility or hospital if appropriate services can be provided by the assisted living residence. It is important to remember that assisted living residences are a bridge between living at home and living in a nursing home. Assisted living residences do not typically provide the level of continuous skilled nursing care found in nursing homes and hospitals.

Residence Accommodations

A residence is defined by the scope of services it provides, not by the number of residents it serves. It is important for residents and families to understand what services the residence offers, as well as the costs and limitations of those services.

Accommodations and options may vary greatly from one assisted living residence to the next (e.g. private rooms, private baths, kitchenettes, etc.). Personal needs and preferences are important criteria for selecting a residence and the amenities it offers.

Home    Featured Programs    Choose Local Area     Request Information
A JR Media Publication • www.jrmediallc.comSite Index