As seniors grow older, they often need help with activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, doing laundry, and taking medication. Assisted Living facilities provide help with these tasks by offering a comfortable place to live with 24/7 assistance with these activities of daily living.
Aside from the assistance provided by professional staff members, Assisted Living facilities offer residents the opportunity to live in a “home away from home” by allowing them to bring their own furniture and decorations. By creating a living space that mirrors their existing lifestyle, seniors continue to live happy, fulfilling lives with limited changes to their existing routines.
In short, this type of facility is a home to those who require a little extra help to continue living independently in an environment that feels like home.
What Are Assisted Living Facilities Like?
There are two types of resident types in assisted living: medically assisted and non-medically assisted. Some facilities are known to provide both assisted living and non-assisted living. The most popular kinds of assisted living are apartments with attached bedrooms, recreational rooms, media rooms, and additional kitchen spaces.
A traditional facility provides a level of care allowing seniors to spend as much time as they wish in their own home, but it also offers assistance with activities of daily living. The best thing about assisted living facilities is the personal attention given to each resident and the opportunity to enjoy the facilities you live in. With this type of care, you can relax and enjoy yourself, make friends with other residents, and spend quality time with family and other visitors.
When a person chooses to be admitted to this type of residence, they are provided with resident assistants who help them maintain the home as a place of peace and comfort. They also help the resident maintain a clean and positive environment, helping with activities of daily living including meal preparation, cleaning, and activities. Residents also have access to various forms of communication including a telephone and the internet to allow them to maintain relationships with friends and family.
State laws vary on the level of medical care that assisted living facilities can provide.
The laws in Kentucky restrict Meadowthorpe from directly offering medical care, so instead, our residents get medical care from their own physicians in Lexington, KY.
What Types of Care Are Provided?
There are several different types of care provided in this type of environment. These include personal care services, food service, laundry service, social services, technology, recreation, and home care. All of these services will be available from a team of professionals.
These services are referred to as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). It’s a term you’ll likely encounter at virtually every assisted living facility.
The care at an assisted living facility is provided by full-time, trained staff members. The duration of a person’s stay in the facility is determined by how long the person needs assistance.
ADL stands for Activities of Daily Living and they’re an important part of the services provided at Meadowthorpe.
For more details, view our Service & Care page.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Assisted Living?
There are many factors that determine a good candidate for assisted living. Individuals who are unable to work due to disability, and who prefer to have one or more people to help take care of their basic needs would benefit from assisted living. Many people who prefer this type of living arrangement tend to be single, have a fixed income, or an adult with dementia, Alzheimers, or other memory conditions, but are otherwise in a stable medical condition.
A good candidate is usually 60 or older, able to communicate, and able to ambulate without assistance. They may need the assistance of a personal assistant to get dressed and do other small household tasks. Some people need help with less active tasks such as getting out of bed, bathing, grooming, dressing, or preparing meals.
A good candidate for assisted living is someone who can afford the fees for the types of care that are provided. When planning for the cost of assisted living, consider additional doctor appointments the person has, and the number of regular medications he or she takes.
What Should I Look for in Assisted Living?
The challenges accompanying the aging process are inevitable for senior citizens. Some people want to remain in their own homes, while others may want to pursue activities of interest and ability. To maintain a healthy, fulfilling life, many seniors need assistance to live independently and this is where assisted living facilities are helpful.
The most important consideration when evaluating assisted living facilities is how well the facilities are managed. There are many assisted living facilities that provide daily care and maintenance of living facilities, even if the resident is out of town for extended periods of time. There are other assisted living facilities offering short-term stay. Either situation requires special care and monitoring.
Another consideration is selecting an environment that suits the senior’s needs. While one senior might prefer an unstructured environment, another may prefer greater structure regarding their dining, activities, and social interaction. The best senior’s homes are going to offer a wide variety of options to fit the needs of the resident.
If this is your first time evaluating assisted living facilities, getting recommendations from others who were in a similar situation before can be helpful.
What Services and Amenities Are Provided in Assisted Living?
Assisted living facilities can be a great solution for senior citizens who are ready to engage in life and have the independence to maintain it. It is very important to compare services and amenities. A facility offering a broad range of services and activities and provides a full array of medical and personal care is the ideal choice. If someone wants to live in an assisted living facility, then they should look for a place that provides the best possible care and activities.
Finding the right mix of services and amenities is an important consideration when selecting an assisted living facility. Facilities with more services and amenities will likely cost more than facilities with less. So what should you look for when choosing a facility?
The first thing is the amount of assistance the facility provides. Some senior citizens need just basic attention while other seniors require specialized medical treatments that are not provided by some assisted living facilities.
The second thing to consider is whether or not the assisted living facility offers some of the services that you may need. Some elderly adults may require assistance with mobility. Other seniors require other personal care or activities. They will help to plan the senior’s diet and monitor the progress of the senior’s medications.
Planned activities are another important consideration when selecting an assisted living facility. Most seniors prefer to have their activities planned according to their own unique needs and desires. This gives residents the independence to enjoy the same activities they have in the past. In most cases, assisted living facilities provide activities that appeal to the senior, such as music therapy, exercise classes, and social activities and group games.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
Cost is always an important consideration when selecting an assisted living facility. Of course the cost must be weighed against the quality of care you receive. As you begin investigating costs, make sure you consider places that will give you what you need to get on your feet and live a happy and productive life.
The Genworth Cost Of Care survey found that the average national median cost for assisted living is around $4,100/month, which is about $129 per day. But the price will vary based on the services you receive. The more help a senior needs, the more services they’ll require.
The cost of living in the geographic area of the facility can also play a role in how much you pay for your assisted living needs. The Genworth Cost Of Living survey found that the majority of seniors would rather live in a lower-cost area than in a high-cost area.
Depending on your income level, some seniors may be able to qualify for financial assistance through government programs like Medicare or Medicaid to help cover the medical costs that often come alongside the need for assisted living.
There’s more to life in an assisted living community than just the bed-sitting and the meals you eat… it’s also a place to cultivate relationships and maintain a happy, fulfilling life. The key is finding a facility that provides the level of care you deserve in a price range that fits your budget.
Once you find the right location, you’ll discover that the care you receive is comfortable and you’ll have the things you need to maintain a high quality of life.
Schedule a free consultation and a on-site tour with a member of our team and we’ll provide a detailed price quote
Memory Care & Assisted Living
Memory care refers to a specialized form of assisted living for those suffering from memory impairments. Among elders, the most common memory care client shows signs of Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Some memory care clients also have cognitive disabilities due to trauma or brain injury. For those who suffer from dementia, this is a good choice because it offers the level of personalized care needed to help individuals cope and thrive.
Memory care can refer to various activities that involve the retrieval of information about the mind and memory processes. The term itself is not defined by the government. It refers to an array of services used to improve memory and facilitate recall of past experiences.
In practice, people who suffer from cognitive disabilities are evaluated for their needs and assigned to a qualified memory care professional. This professional will develop a plan of care to address the client’s needs and preferences as well as monitor progress.
A memory care plan may include the following: training in how to perform certain tasks, instruction on how to read or write, problem solving practice, using computers, and even classes in music and art. Training in how to take part in hobbies can be helpful as well. Some people may benefit from using a computer to play games, watch TV or engage in recreational activities. Some prefer to go for exercise classes or participate in social activities. The goal of all these activities is to enhance the life of aging seniors with cognitive disorders.
In-Home Care vs. Assisted Living
The biggest difference between assisted living and in-home care is the location where the senior lives. In-home care services provide help to seniors in their own homes. Assisted living facilities go a step further by providing accommodations in the form of cottages or apartments.
Many of the traditional services of in-home caregiver agencies are included in their services. In most cases, these include feeding the elderly and making sure their basic needs are met. In addition, many of the services included are also provided by skilled personal assistants who are trained in basic first aid techniques. Depending on your particular situation, some of these services may also include housekeeping and laundry duties as well as companionship activities for elderly relatives who need assistance with activities of daily living. These types of services are not necessarily provided for free. In some cases, there are limits placed on the services, and this is usually determined by the type of service that you require.
Additional services may include but are not limited to, daily personal care, transportation and assistance with personal hygiene. Many senior care agencies will provide assistance with bathing and laundry duties and may even include services such as taking the senior to doctor appointments and scheduling appointments, as well as assistance with errands. Other services that are often offered include shopping for groceries and grocery shopping. You also may be asked to help make grocery shopping arrangements if you are unable to do so yourself, depending on the specific agency.
Nursing Homes vs. Assisted Living
As the demand for senior care continues to grow in the United States, many people wonder if a nursing home or assisted living is better for them.
A nursing home is a facility providing medical care and emotional support required by those who need long term care. They typically include the services of a group of professionals, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and social workers, to provide the most appropriate care.
A typical nursing home, also called a skilled nursing facility, offers a wide variety of personal and medical care services to individuals who require them. These services usually include 24-hour monitoring, personal hygiene, physical therapy, and medication reminders. Rehabilitation services, including speech, physical, and occupational therapy are also offered.
Nursing homes provide their residents with all the basic needs of life including food and nutrition counseling, emotional support, exercise classes, personal hygiene and grooming, medication reminders, bathing and dressing rooms, and medical devices. Some nursing homes also offer respite care. Respite care allows an individual to go home to spend time with family or friends. Respite care can be provided through a visit to a doctor or by a combination of medications and support services.
The difference between nursing home care and assisted living typically boils down to the level of support needed and the level of physical assistance necessary. For a person who requires more simple assistance, such as helping them dress, or moving around, assisted living can be the best solution. For seniors with more intensive medical needs, nursing homes may offer a better solution.
Common Signs That Point to the Need for Assisted Living
If you’re wondering about the right time to consider assisted living, you’re not alone. In fact, the number of adult children and senior citizens researching assisted living online has grown considerably in the last few years.
Assisted living is a great way for seniors to live independently while getting basic care and attention they need. But determining the right time to transition into an assisted living facility can be a challenge.
Here are some common signs that it’s time to consider assisted living.
Big-Picture Signs it Might be Time for Assisted Living
The first and most important sign is when a senior begins to neglect themselves. This does not mean they have developed a serious physical or mental illness, but it does mean there are a number of warning signs and behaviors that suggest there is a major mental or emotional issue requiring more attention.
Another sign is when a senior becomes inactive or less involved in personal interests they would normally enjoy, such as hobbies and recreational activities.
Social Signs it Might be Time for Assisted Living
Social signs and behaviors are also important in determining if assisted living is the right option for an individual. For example, if a senior becomes less social than they once were, there is a greater risk that this could become a major problem for them in the facility. If a resident is not participating in the activities they once enjoyed, they will become less active and not be able to maintain a healthy social interaction level. If a resident does not enjoy recreational activities, this could lead to feeling alone in the world.
Assisted living can be a good option for a loved one who is feeling isolated. If you have a loved one who needs some support and has trouble living on their own, assisted living may be the perfect solution.
Physical Signs & Behaviors
Physical signs and behaviors are also important in determining if assisted living is the right option. For example, if a senior is not taking care of themselves physically, they may become less active or not be able to exercise on a regular basis. In addition, a senior who does not eat well may be in danger of developing malnutrition or dehydration.
Emotional & Mental Signs
Signs of emotional or mental problems should also be considered when making the decision to move into assisted living, because these could be much more important than physical signs or behaviors. Signs of emotional or mental problems are those that indicate a lack of focus, a lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating.
Mental difficulties may indicate a senior is developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a condition that can deteriorate and eventually destroy a person’s ability to remember things. If your elderly loved one is having trouble remembering to take their medicine, or they’re not able to remember things their doctor says, then it might be time to consider an assisted living facility that can help.
Signs of financial distress are also very important in determining whether assisted living is the right decision. If a senior is not able to take care of their needs at home on a daily basis, such as if they are having difficulty keeping the furnace or air conditioning on or are having trouble with their water or electricity, there is a good chance they are struggling to maintain other areas of their finances.
If a senior is not making the monthly payments required to maintain their current home or apartment, an assisted living facility may be helpful since monthly automatic payment arrangements are set up and administered with the help of the staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is important to know what an assisted living facility is and what they provide if you are planning to visit a facility for your loved ones or you want to look into entering an assisted living facility for yourself.
Here are some common questions and answers for anyone considering assisted living.
Who will provide the personal care services and assistance?
You will be assigned a team of caregivers who will assist your loved ones 24/7. Someone will always be on call to help you with the activities of daily living including someone to help you eat, help with bathroom needs, laundry, cleaning, and more. All of these services will be provided by staff members of the facility.
Most facilities also provide assistance to people that live alone or have problems with their loved ones.
What if I need services not provided by the assisted living facility?
For additional services not provided at the facility, you will be able to arrange and pay for those separately. You will be able to go to doctor’s appointments and get your medications from the facility.
Are contracts common in assisted living facilities?
If you decide you want to stay in an assisted living facility, you’ll likely encounter a contract. If you choose to stay, it’s a good idea to make sure you fully understand the contract you receive. The contract will explain what services you can get and how much money you will be expected to pay each month.
If you have a memory problem, you should look at the available care options provided by the assisted living facility and talk to your doctor about this.
Meadowthorpe works with a local pharmacy to make sure our residents always have their prescriptions.
How do I know I’ll get the care needed?
If you are interested in assisted living, you should ask for a written plan from the assisted living facility at the beginning of your stay. This type of plan will give you the reassurance you need to feel confident in your stay at the assisted living facility while getting the care you need.
How do assisted living facilities handle Covid-19?
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic situation continues to evolve, we’re promptly adapting our actions with the health and wellbeing of our residents and employees as our top priority. From the outset, Meadowthorpe Assisted Living & Memory Care has always been in compliance with DAIL and Kentucky State guidelines for COVID-19, as well as CDC guidelines to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of our residents and employees.
How We’re Specifically Addressing COVID-19 at Meadowthorpe
Here are the actions we’ve taken to ensure the safety of our residents and staff at Meadowthorpe.
- Mandatory masks for all staff members.
- Re-educated our teams on the appropriateness of infection prevention measures which are a part of how we operate on a daily basis.
- Instituted additional cleaning and disinfection of all common areas with special attention to high-touch areas. All cleaning products are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Implemented social distancing measures for all residents and staff.
- Suspended planned or sponsored group outings (with the exception of healthcare-related visits).
- Restricted visitors and non-essential health personnel from our communities, except in end of life situations or pursuant to the guidance of public health officials.
- Conducting health screenings on all individuals coming into the community
- Bi-weekly Surveillance Testing on all employees
And to help our residents cope with possible feelings of isolation, we’ve rolled out some great high-tech ways they can be social over any distance. Our residents have access to video call apps like FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and more to help them stay in touch with family, loved ones or even their best friend next door.
If You’re Considering Assisted Living, We’ve Got You Covered
We’re now offering virtual visits via FaceTime and Zoom, so you can experience our community without ever leaving your house! These are by reservation only, so click here to request a virtual tour.
As the world continues to adapt to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can rest assured that we will keep prioritizing both compassion and care in all the decisions we make. And as always, our number one goal and our guiding principle is to maximize the health and safety of our residents.
Learn More about COVID-19
- CDC.GOV – Considerations for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Assisted Living Facilities
- CDC.GOV – Get the Facts About Coronavirus
- COVID-19 Guidance from the KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Coronavirus Guidance for Retirement Communities & Independent Living facilities from KY Public Health
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