There are all different types of assisted living facilities. Services provided in assisted living facilities and senior housing communities can range from independent to enhanced. Enhanced assisted living is a newer license type that permits residents to fully age in place.
For more about assisted living arrangements, here are several good resources:
The Assisted Living Federation of America offers policy information as well as a community locator
The United States Administration on Aging has an Eldercare Locator to find the closest Area Agency on Aging (AAA) office.
The National Institute on Aging has a broad range of information on aging.
No One-Size Fits All Plan
A good assisted living facility can give a person much more freedom than they would have in their own home because many of their responsibilities are taken care of by the facility. Just having meals provided can be a tremendous relief. Loved ones who were trapped in their homes with only a hired aide or caretaker blossom when they moved into assisted living and can interact regularly with other folks their own age.
There is no one “right” plan for all elders. Many elders prefer not being “trapped” in their homes with a stranger or hired caregiver, yet they need services. Having the services they need provided by the overall facility staff helps to enhance their privacy as well. Yet others will do anything to remain at home, and might come to cherish their caregivers.
Take care when looking at facilities that offer Memory Care. Often it is just a nursing home that prevents residents from wandering off. Be sure to ask a lot of questions about what the patient’s day will be like. Stimulation through mental and physical activities can help even severe cases of dementia. Ask if your loved one will be able to interact with other residents and attend planned and supervised activities. Often, if the facility also has an assisted living wing the memory care patients can be included in their activities.
Some memory care facilities are no different than nursing homes; however, their staffing ratio may differ greatly from that of a nursing home. Definitely go in with a list of questions — you are a consumer, and just as you would carefully shop around for a material item, so, too, be thorough in your research. Another factor to keep in mind is what provisions can the assisted living residence make to have two spouses interact, even if not living together in the same apartment.
For more information, contact Spring Arbor.
Excerpts - NYTimes