5 Senior Living Options


Assisted Living

An aide helps an assisted living resident with her medications.
An aide helps an assisted living resident with her medications.
© iStockphoto.com/dscz

Assisted living represents the exact middle of the road as far as elder care housing is concerned. This is the halfway point between living on one's own and requiring the continuous care of a nursing home. As w­e mentioned on the last page, assisted living can be a very broad term these days, so aging adults will need to do some research to find a home that meets their needs.

Assisted living facilities may provide everything from a shared room to a private one-bedroom apartment that you can decorate with your favorite furnishings from home. Regardless of the set-up, though, the focus is on helping aging adults remain autonomous and active while providing assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing and eating.

Assisted living facilities provide meals, light housekeeping and some social activities, but they don't offer the kind of supervision or medical services that a nursing home provides. Because of this, residents may be asked to leave assisted living facilities once their health declines. These health standards will be included in the facility's contract, so it's important to read all documents carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises. But where can you go if you need additional medical help?