With the many options available in senior assisted living, wading through the information and terminology can be overwhelming! All you really want to know is which option will suit you best. So, to help clarify what ‘Assisted Living Serices’ means, the following is a general overview of an Assisted Living environment and the services provided.
First, the basics
There are three specific components to Assisted Living -- housing, hospitality services and personal assistance.
There’s no ‘typical’ Assisted Living residence; it may be a one or two-bedroom apartment, or bachelor suite in a condo complex or apartment building. It may be a suite in a home with separate entrance and bedroom, and shared dining or living areas. It may be a retirement residence built specifically to include Assisted Living accommodations or it may be among a variety of residences on a campus of care.
Assisted Living residences are usually located close to shopping, medical care facilities, and transit. Sometimes residences can be found in close proximity to family and friends -- for that reason, it’s important to begin your search in regions and neighborhoods that interest you.
2. Hospitality Services
In the Assisted Living environment, the following are referred to as hospitality services:
- Meals -- one to three balanced meals plus snacks. Health and safety standards will be followed in their preparation and service. If a resident requires a special or therapeutic diet, the can get professional advice from a registered dietician.
- Housekeeping -- light housekeeping is provided according to the health and safety needs of the individual.
- Laundry -- this usually includes weekly laundering, folding and storing of bedding; equipment is provided if the resident takes care of their own personal laundry.
- Recreational and social opportunities -- community involvement, as well as opportunities for leisure and social interaction is provided.
- 24-hour emergency response system -- residents will be able to request assistance in the event of an emergency at any time of day or night.
- Additional services may be provided for example, trips to medical appointments.
3. Personal assistance
Personal assistance is provided depending upon the needs of the individual. These are the most commonly requested services in the senior Assisted Living environment:
- Assistance with the activities of daily life (ADL) such as eating, dressing, grooming, bathing and personal hygiene
- Medication management
- Care in following a prescribed or therapeutic diet
Additional services offered may include personal property and financial management, physical and psychosocial rehabilitative therapies, behavior management and intervention, hairdressing and escorts to medical appointments. To provide suitable services or a service package, the senior with the support of family, a case manager and the residence operator will work together to determine a service package that meets the needs of the individual.
Written by Alice Lucette