Assisted living centers are an ideal housing arrangement for elderly people who are in a transitional stage of aging. Often residents of assisted living facilities make the change if living alone entails too much work or when help is required for daily activities but constant supervision or care isn’t necessary. The difference between assisted living and nursing homes is the autonomy and control residents have in their day-to-day lives.
Allowing residents to continue acting independently is a key facet of assisted living. That being said, constant care is available for any needs, be they medical, social or anything between. Apartment-style housing is common in assisted living centers for the comfort and privacy of residents, often with the added benefit of housekeeping.
According to the National Center for Assisted Living, 87 percent of residents require assistance with food preparation and 81 percent need help managing medication. Staff members help with regular tasks and create schedules for the residents detailing nutrition plans and social activities. However, the activities are completely determined by residents themselves. Other daily living functions that staff may assist with are bathing and dressing, while simultaneously coordinating personal needs such as shopping and communication with loved ones.
As outlined by the Assisted Living Federation of America, senior care in assisted living centers should encompass accessibility, independence, quality of life, dignity and personal choices. The National Center for Assisted Living created guiding principles for assisted living facilities including the importance of personal care. It says staff “strive to meet the social, emotional, cultural, intellectual and spiritual well-being of residents.” Based on a survey it conducted in 2013, more than 90 percent of residents reported experiences with high quality of life, high level of care and a sense of security in the community.