A Guide to Assisted Living
Are you considering Assisted Living for yourself or your loved one? There are a variety of questions associated with the transition into assisted living, including how Assisted Living differs from other care services and how to identify when it’s time to move into an assisted living community. Making this decision is never easy, however, this transition can be a trying yet rewarding time for yourself or a loved one.
Many people associate Assisted Living as an end to independence, a lack of freedom they once had, and loss of personal privacy. Fortunately, that is not the case. Assisted Living does not mean we cannot go to our favorite restaurant on Tuesday, visit close friends out-of-state or have some time to ourselves without being constantly monitored. Life, aging, and our bodies ultimately place limits on what we can do, but Assisted Living simply means having an extra hand to help us do the things we love.
What Is Assisted Living?
The term ‘Assisted Living’ refers to senior care that provides a combination of housing, personal and care services designed for individuals who need assistance with normal daily activities. This differs from other services such as Independent Living, where individuals are able to live without any type of daily assistance. While Memory Care services are reserved for those who have been formally diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Skilled Nursing is applicable for those who are required to have a full-time registered nurse available at all times.
Assisted Living services can be provided at home through private care, at hospitals, or through retirement communities. Some retirement communities specialize in Assisted Living services, while others are Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offering a full continuum of care. CCRCs offer access to Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehab.
While the list of services at each community varies, retirement communities are the best option for those who want to connect with others. A home can be isolating, and home maintenance can be costly and cumbersome. At a retirement or Assisted Living community, Members have access to the care services they require while being able to enjoy dining experiences, social programs, and wellness activities with staff and peers.
When Is It Time to Transition Into Assisted Living?
The goal of Assisted Living is to keep residents independent. This is completed by implementing levels of assistance that complement the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Activities of Daily Living include walking, feeding, dressing/grooming, toileting & bathing. Needs vary from person to person as do the levels of dependency. It’s important to have a proper assessment performed by a caregiving professional to determine an individual’s need. After being assessed, you can understand the amount of assistance necessary and weigh options such as an in-home care or a retirement community.
Matching the right amount of assistance with ADLs is different for each person. Take time to determine what the goal is, what’s important and what equals happiness. Are they social, involved with groups, or want to maintain hobbies? Do they require transportation, and if so, how many days a week? Determine the level of assistance needed, and match it with the end goal. Knowing these key items will help you compare services offered through in-home care or an assisted living community.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
The simple answer is that the cost for Assisted Living varies based on a number of factors. This includes whether it is in-home care or a retirement community, the geographic location and the services that are covered. Some communities offer an all-inclusive monthly fee that covers meals, transportation, housing, care, home maintenance, social activities and more, while others may only include a fraction of these (with added services available at additional cost).
Tips on Determining the Right Assisted Living
To determine the right type of Assisted Living for you or your loved one, start with these steps:
Establish your goal:
- What type of lifestyle and activities are you trying to maintain?
- How much assistance is needed to per person?
- Where will you be most comfortable?
Determine the best living situation:
- In-Home private duty care
- Assisted living community
Assisted Living pricing:
- In-Home private duty care – Costs are in addition to regular monthly bills and mortgage
- Assisted living community/facility – Cost typically include living accommodations, amenities, food and care
The Charlotte Assisted Living & Memory Care is a luxury retirement community offering all-inclusive Assisted Living services. If you are looking for Assisted Living in Charlotte, NC, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!