What Should You Expect From Assisted Living Facilities?
If you ever cringed at the idea of putting your loved ones in a nursing home then you may very be interested in learning about assisted living facilities. What is it that we seem to dislike about nursing homes? It’s that our loved ones lose their independence, isn’t it? We don’t like the scenario any more than they do that someone else has to feed them, clothe them and clean up after them.
The Advantages of an Assisted Living Facility
What’s nice about assisted living facilities is that the residents keep their independence as much as physically possible. This type of home is ideal for an aging or infirm family member that can still manage to move around the house and who does not require any doctor or nurse supervision. There are a great number of people who might require daily assistance for cleaning, cooking, eating or simply performing day-to-day chores. It is believed that one million Americans are currently living in such a facility.
What kinds of residents currently live in assisted living facilities? There are many different people residing in these homes, each with his/her own ailments and desires. Some residents are widowed. Some may be suffering from memory loss. Others are mentally and physically strong but prefer to be around people their own age. Others may have problems with mobility or incontinence. The majority of patients in such a home do not have pressing medical needs, and so they do not require hospitalization or constant surveillance.
The Differences Between Assisted Living Homes and Nursing Homes
Another factor that distinguishes assisted living facilities from nursing homes is the flexibility of location. Such a facility can be hosted inside an apartment complex or even a large home. Though each facility will differ in a protocol, generally speaking, patients are served three meals a day and receive regular visits from staff members. The amount of time the staff member spends at the facility can vary. Some patients require 24-hours of surveillance. Others, however, will only require a couple of visits a day.
It largely depends on the conditions reported. If a resident is not capable of bathing or dressing then there may be a need for regular supervision. If a resident mainly needs help in cooking meals, lifting heavy objects, doing laundry or running errands outside, then there will be less stringent monitoring.
Assisted living facilities are not medical facilities and so do not have a doctor or nurse on staff. Some facilities may have a doctor on call in case of medical emergencies. However, staff members are usually not authorized to perform any medical procedures. What they can do is help make the life of a resident easier by performing menial tasks and by socializing with the residents.
Staff members at assisted living facilities can help to create health and exercise programs as well as social or educational activities to keep residents mentally and physically active. The best facilities often times have recreation rooms, exercise rooms, chapels, and libraries. Another advantage of an assisted living community is that such a service may take your relative outside of the home for field trips.
Remember that this is a very important time in your relative’s life. Just because he or she is aging does not mean that life is over. Now more than ever, your loved one needs emotional support and a reason to stay alive and enjoy life. Assisted living facilities promote independence, which is healthy to a person’s self-confidence. Talk to a specialist today to learn more about your options!