Assisted Living 101
If you don’t work in the senior housing industry, it can be very confusing when trying to find an assisted living or other type of facility.
The industry has evolved over the years, and there are tons of variations on senior living or assisted living concepts. This can make the search for housing especially difficult when your family doesn’t understand the differences between each. Let us help make this is a bit easier to digest!
There are basically three levels of care to understand here: independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing.
Here’s an overview of Assisted Living or “AL”:
AL is for seniors who need some help with the activities of daily living. These are activities that many of us take for granted like bathing, dressing, eating, and using the restroom.
Some AL communities offer memory care services as well. If your loved one has dementia, some assisted living communities offer what’s called “memory care” in addition to their assisted living. These are usually hallways that are protected by a keypad lock to prevent wandering.
AL is also called “residential care” in some states. The regulations vary. In some states “residential care” is the same thing as assisted living. In other states, “residential care” means a small assisted living community. If you’re unsure of the terminology, ask a local community for help. They’ll gladly explain the difference.
AL does not offer any kind of skilled nursing care. There are communities that offer both AL and skilled nursing on the same campus, but that’s not always the case. Skilled nursing offers a much higher level of care than AL, and, as a result, is much more expensive.
The cost of AL varies, but expect to pay about $2,500 to $4,500 a month. The final price depends on a number of factors including the amount of care received, the size of the room, and the location of the community.
Hopefully this helped simplify things a little. As a caregiver, you might also want to consider these Top 5 Questions to Ask when choosing a facility for a loved one.