According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people over 65 will need long-term care at some point. And 20% of them will need long-term care of some kind for more than five years. While a majority of seniors want to stay in their home, a growing number of older adults are discovering the benefits of assisted living to help them maximize their independence as they age.
How Does Assisted Living Support Independence?
Assisted living communities — like Royal Atrium Inn and Victorian Village — provide support with the activities of daily living (ADLs), along with an engaging lifestyle featuring social events, a variety of activities, and delicious chef-prepared dining options.
Each resident’s care is based on their wants and needs, but the most common assisted living services communities offer include:
- Staff available 24/7
- Medication management
- Assistance with using the bathroom, dressing and grooming
- Housekeeping and linen services
- All indoor and outdoor maintenance
- Three restaurant-style meals a day
- Monthly calendar of classes, events and activities
Other Benefits of Assisted Living
- Personalized care: Before moving in, a community with assisted living will evaluate a potential resident’s cognitive and physical needs with a thorough, in-person assessment. The staff will also meet with the senior and their family to discuss any health conditions and assess fine motor skills, mobility and cognition. This important step allows staff to determine the level of care a senior requires so they can develop a personalized care plan. Once a resident moves in, the community will continue to evaluate residents as their health conditions change.
- Care coordination: Communities maintain strong relationships with area physicians, primary care physicians, and other health care providers to ensure residents receive the care they need.
- Safety and peace of mind: Communities feature a secure environment with controlled access, security protocols and alert systems. Staff is also available 24 hours a day to help residents, and communities usually have alert systems that allow residents to quickly get emergency help with a push of a button. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three million older adults go to the ER each year because of fall injuries that could result in serious head or hip injuries.
- Restaurant-style dining: Meals at assisted living communities are delicious and nutritious. Communities can tailor their menus for medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or dysphagia. Plus, enjoying a meal with other residents is a great way to connect and form friendships.
- Social connection: Loneliness can lead to habits that negatively affect health, like smoking, excessive drinking, and poor nutrition. It can also increase someone’s risk for depression, dementia and heart disease, among other health conditions. Assisted living offers plenty of opportunities to be physically active, learn new skills, and engage with like-minded neighbors.
How Do You Know It's Time for Assisted Living?
If you’re considering assisted living for a loved one, think back over the last year and see if you’ve noticed any of these issues:
- Has your loved one fallen, with or without injury?
- Does meal preparation seem to be becoming more difficult?
- Have you noticed signs of hunger or that nutritional needs aren't being met?
- Is it getting harder for them to safely maneuver around their house?
- Do they need more help with getting dressed, bathing, managing medication, or other activities of daily living?
- Do you worry about them being alone or their safety?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be time to explore assisted living options.
What Does Assisted Living Cost?
When comparing the costs of assisted living communities, keep in mind that the size of the residence, the types of services needed and the part of the country you live in can affect the prices. You should also ask what services are included and which are a la carte, and if there are any discounts applied to the cost of care.