Understanding Assisted Living
When elders reach a phase in life where more thorough care and assistance are needed, it might be time for the family members to consider moving them into assisted living facilities. Throughout the years, there is a misconception on what assisted living really is. It certainly is not “locking up” the elderly in a care home, as most people perceive it to be. Assisted living is a community where the elder is helped by the staff in doing their daily activities, such as eating, bathing, and many more. The elderly does not have to be severely ill to be living with assistance. In fact, assisted living is more like an vibrant alternative to the confined nature of staying at home, since it is generally a difficult feat for the elder to move around, go out of the house, and live a normal and fulfilling life at their old age. So, what really are the concepts behind assisted living?
First and foremost, it should be defined what assisted living is not – a nursing home. Assisted living homes do provide medical care, but only minimally. Assisted living facilities do not have in-house nurses and doctors and are not for illness treatment. Elders with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (and without serious medical requirements) are sometimes placed in assisted living because of sundowning, a case where they manifest agitation and confusion late in the day. They would generally need more assistance during that time, and assisted living homes provide and specialize in these services.
Assisted living facilities also have homey centers where the seniors could gather and socialize with each other and feel that they belong in a community. This is one feature of assisted homes that may be a difficult task if the elders stay at their own houses. Transportation is also another feature of assisted living. Elders who need to get to places such as shopping centers and hospitals but are not capable are serviced by the homes as well.
Essentially, as mentioned above, assisted living aims to make the senior feel that his/her life is “normal” and easier despite the complexities that are associated with old age. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), each state provides unique regulations for the senior care industry.