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Assisted Living Overview

        Health | Elder Care

Assisted Living Services

What type of care is provided at assisted living homes? All homes are different, as are individual needs and service contracts (which we'll talk more about later). Generally, assisted living arrangements involve help with the following:

  • Laundry. This includes the washing and changing of bedding and clothing, as well as ironing.
  • Meal preparation, service and assistance. While some assisted living quarters may include kitchenettes to provide more independent residents with the option of continuing to cook their own meals, most offer regular daily meals prepared and served in common areas. Assistance may also be provided to those who are no longer able to feed themselves.
  • Help getting dressed. Injuries or infirmity may make getting dressed and undressed a difficult and even dangerous daily task for some residents.
  • Bathing. Decreased mobility and risk of falling means some people -- who otherwise may be perfectly able to feed themselves or get dressed -- need help bathing or just getting in and out of the bathtub.
  • Daily medications. Physically able residents may have cognitive difficulties caused by Alzheimer's or other conditions that make it difficult to keep up with medication schedules. While assisted living environments typically have limited health care options, most are able to make sure that residents are taking the appropriate meds on schedule.
  • Social and recreational planning. Assisted living homes typically have an events coordinator who is responsible for making sure entertainment, social gatherings such as dances and stimulating activities like book clubs are a daily part of residential life.

Assisted living is not the right choice for everyone. Also, assisted living isn't generally made available to those who need special care outside of that which a facility can provide. The following are care options not provided or medical situations that don't qualify for assisted living care:

  • Use of restraints or physical confinement. Assisted living is designed for those who still have considerable freedom and independence, and such care providers aren't equipped or trained to handle residents who need restraints or have restricted mobility.
  • Care for chronic health conditions. People who require regular care for a health condition such as lung or kidney failure will need advanced care that assisted living can't provide.
  • Severe cognitive impairment. Those who are in advanced stages of dementia aren't adequate prospects for assisted living. Assisted living depends on a resident's ability to dictate the terms of their own individual care.