According to Argentum (formerly Assisted Living Federation of America), assisted living is:
“a combining of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet the individual needs of persons who need help with the activities of daily living, but do not need the skilled medical care provided in a nursing home.”
This level of care can cover a wide variety of resident needs, including dressing, bathing, using the bathroom, eating, mobility, and getting in and out of bed.
While assisted living is a healthcare-type facility, assisted living is different than a nursing home. Typical assisted living residents are able to live independently for some or most daily activities, and simply require help for certain non-medical issues.
Read more on the differences between assisted living and nursing homes here.
How Extensive Is Assisted Living?
There are currently 700,000 people in the United States who live in almost 25,000 assisted living facilities nationwide.
Assisted living facilities can go by many names, including: adult congregate living facilities, rest homes, homes for the aging, personal care homes, residential care, retirement homes, retirement communities, adult foster care, and community residences, but they all point to the same type of care provided.
Those residents who require more intensive care or medical supervision are typically not residents of assisted living facilities, but rather find better-suited care in a nursing home or more medically-oriented facility.
Assisted Living Costs
Depending on the facility, the cost for each resident can differ dramatically.
Some factors to consider are:
- Type of residence
- Size of apartment (or residence)
- The geographical location of the facility, and
- Types of services your loved one requires
In 2014, the average monthly cost was $3,500 per resident, or about $100 a day.
Not sure if assisted living is right for you? Check out this assisted living cost calculator.
Is Assisted Living The Right Choice?
Choosing an assisted living facility for your loved one is never an easy choice, and you should be very comfortable with the level of care provided by the facility.
At the very least, assisted living facilities should offer the following services:
- Medication management
- Daily living assistance (bathing, eating, dressing, etc.)
- Educational activities
- Basic health and wellness services and programs
- Emergency call systems
- Housekeeping and maintenance
- Organized recreational and exercise activities
- Laundry services
- Religious activities
- Transportation arrangements
- 24-hour security
Check out our tips for choosing an assisted living facility.
Assisted living is meant to provide your loved one with the care they need to live happy and healthy in a supportive environment.