Many older Americans eventually have trouble completing routine, everyday tasks. Chores that were once easy -- such as bathing, cooking, getting dressed or cleaning house -- can suddenly seem frustrating, overwhelming or impossible. That's where assisted living communities come in. Assisted living communities are for people who require help in their day-to-day lives but don't require around-the-clock supervision and medical attention.
Many assisted living communities are built similar to apartment buildings, with units that contain living areas, bedrooms and kitchens. Assisted living centers also have large dining halls where residents can enjoy three meals a day. In addition to having the freedom of independent living, residents of assisted living communities can socialize in group activities are take part in planned shopping and field trips. Residents also have access to a variety of healthcare services. Trained staff members can respond to emergency medical situations, and healthcare experts can answer questions about insurance payments, social security benefits and other complex issues.
There are literally thousands of assisted living communities across the United States, and each community will offer different levels of care. Some may feature a more independent atmosphere with an emphasis on socialization and group activities. Other communities are set up to accommodate extremely frail seniors who require high degrees of supervision. When choosing an assisted living center, it's important to consider the needs and wants of prospective residents.
Some assisted living communities provide many of the same services as nursing homes. However, assisted living communities are not intended to replace nursing homes. The two types of establishments serve completely different purposes. Nursing homes are meant to provide constant care and supervision for those who are unable to care for themselves. Assisted living communities are for people who can generally care for themselves but sometimes need some extra help.
The federal government does not regulate assisted living centers. When contacting residential facilities, make sure you know the regulations defining assisted living communities in your home state.