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About Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.

Complete guide to assisted living
About Care Homes

Residential care homes are shared neighborhood homes for seniors who need a live-in caregiver to assist with activities of daily living, like dressing and bathing.

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Veterans Resources

VA benefits for long-term care, such as Aid and Attendance benefits, can help eligible veterans and their surviving spouses pay for senior care.

Guide to VA benefits for long-term care
About Home Care

Home care relies on trained aides to provide companionship and non-medical care for seniors living at home.

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About Independent Living

Independent living facilities offer convenient, hassle-free living in a social environment for seniors who are active, healthy, and able to live on their own.

Complete guide to independent living
About Memory Care

Memory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering.

Complete guide to memory care
About Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide short-and long-term care for seniors who have physical or mental health conditions that require 24-hour nursing and personal care.

Complete guide to nursing homes
About Senior Apartments

Senior apartments offer accessible, no-frills living for seniors who are generally active, healthy, and able to live on their own.

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What You Should Know About Assisted Living Services, Amenities, and Benefits

By Kara LewisDecember 7, 2021
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If your loved one is considering a move to a senior living community, the range of choices may seem overwhelming. Assisted living communities, one popular senior care option, offer assistance with the personal care tasks your loved one may need, alongside a variety of leisure options and levels of care. These communities combine the benefits of senior care with the social aspects of an active senior living community.

In assisted living, a team of qualified caregivers and attentive staff work together to create and follow a care plan for each resident. These communities offer a wide range of assisted living services, including personal care, nutritious meals, and engaging activities. When it’s time to consider assisted living options, many families are thrilled to learn that their loved one will have the help and support they need to remain independent for as long as possible at these communities.

“The amount of burden it takes off of the resident to not have to manage their life and instead focus on the good things — it’s actually magical,” says Rachel Levy, a social worker and national account manager for A Place for Mom.

From help with daily routines to providing a wide range of social opportunities that ward off loneliness, the services and amenities at assisted living communities can help seniors live their best lives.

Trained caregivers

The staff at an assisted living community plays a crucial role in helping residents feel safe, supported, happy, and, ultimately, more independent. Nurses and caregivers typically receive ongoing elder-care training, with a specific focus on helping seniors with their activities of daily living (ADLs). Through these services, assisted living staff empower seniors to be as independent as possible.

Depending on your senior loved one’s specific needs, caregivers may provide support with the following:

  • Bathing and showering
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Mobility
  • Toileting
  • Medication management

Many communities conduct an assessment of care level before move-in. If you’re unsure of how much assistance you or your senior relative requires, or whether a community can meet those needs, you can discuss your concerns during your initial assessment.

Dining choices

Rather than dealing with the hassles of grocery shopping, cooking, and monitoring nutrition, seniors in assisted living simply visit the community’s dining areas. In addition to a social boost at mealtimes, dining areas give seniors access to delicious, nutrient-packed dishes.

Many senior living communities employ culinary experts, including a chef and registered dietitian, to provide a restaurant-quality dining experience with an emphasis on nutrition and taste. For example, at Sunrise Senior Living, a company with hundreds of communities, menu favorites include Greek salad, crab cakes, green beans amandine, and herb-roasted chicken.

Meal programs in assisted living communities typically offer the following benefits:

  • Three professionally prepared meals a day
  • A variety of entrée, side, and dessert options
  • Nutrients from every food group
  • Fresh fruit, healthy snacks, and drinks available any time
  • Weekly menus posted in advance
  • The option to invite family members and guests
  • Special meal plan options, including diabetic, low-sodium, high-fiber, etc.

Housekeeping, laundry, and maintenance

Less housework means less stress, and nearly all assisted living communities include housekeeping with rent. These cleaning services give seniors more time to focus on their happiness, health, and well-being:

  • Dusting and vacuuming
  • Bed-making
  • Bathroom and kitchen cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Apartment maintenance and beautification

Security features

Is your senior loved one having trouble managing safety at home? One of the most important assisted living services is 24/7, on-site staffing and enhanced safety for senior residents. This means staff can be there to handle urgent needs or emergencies at any time, day or night.

Expect assisted living communities to use modern security systems and provide the following safety and accessibility features:

  • Clearly marked and alarmed exits
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Handrails and grab bars
  • Wide doorways
  • Stair lifts
  • Elevators
  • Zero-threshold showers
  • Emergency call systems

Talk with a Senior Living Advisor

Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.

Enriching activities

The loneliness that comes from senior isolation stands out as one of the most common problems older adults face. A rich and stimulating social schedule can remedy this with activities to fit a wide range of interests. In addition to on-site social events, communities often plan outings to local museums, concerts, parks, and other attractions. Such services may not be your first concern when choosing a community, but social opportunities are a major benefit of assisted living.

Activities in assisted living communities focus on three core needs of aging adults:

  • Physical health. Popular physical health activities include walks, tai chi, strength exercises, dances, fitness classes, and yoga. Some communities even offer nutritional coaching.
  • Intellectual stimulation. Common intellectual activities include current events and interest clubs, art classes, book clubs, and computer classes.
  • Social connection. Communities promote social connections through events like game nights, devotions, happy hours, karaoke, holiday parties, and trips.

According to research in the journal Dementia and Neuropsychologia, staying involved physically, intellectually, and socially gives seniors a significant defense against cognitive decline.

One goal of assisted living communities is to provide every resident with a social outlet. Care providers talk to incoming residents and their families about individual passions and interests, often developing programming just for them. These initial conversations also help staff know which activities to encourage a new resident to try.

On-site amenities

A soothing change of scenery is never far in assisted living, with multiple rooms and creative spaces to lift residents’ moods with pampering, leisure, and relaxation. When you see dedicated spaces for a variety of activities, it is a good sign that a community has robust programming your loved one can look forward to.

Depending on the community, amenities can include a variety of options on-site:

  • Beauty salon and barbershop
  • Movie theater
  • Game room
  • Library
  • Communal garden and courtyard
  • Bar
  • Porches, patios, and sunrooms
  • Fitness center
  • Woodworking shop
  • Art studio
  • Billiard room
  • Chapel
  • Large event space

Learn more about assisted living benefits

If you want to find out more about what life in an assisted living community looks like, reach out to A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors. These experts can answer any questions you may have about the differences between assisted living, nursing homes, or even memory care and can help find the best option for you and your family.

Sources

Dementia and Neuropsychologia. Cognitive performance and engagement in physical, social and intellectual activities in older adults: The FIBRA study.”

Author
Kara Lewis

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