What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a residence for the elderly or infirm who require assistance with some of the activities of daily living and ready access to medical care as needed.

Some individuals with physical or mental impairments choose to live in assisted living facilities so that professional help is on hand. Assisted living residents may require ongoing medical care as well as trained nursing services.

In terms of the level of care provided, assisted living is a step below the nursing home or skilled nursing facility.

Understanding Assisted Living

Assisted living allows a bit more independence and costs a bit less than nursing home care but is more expensive than an independent living facility.

According to a 2017 Genworth survey, the national median cost of a private one-bedroom space in an assisted living facility is $45,000 a year. However, the costs depend on the level of care the resident requires as well as the location and housing type.

Contracts can be all-inclusive or a la carte and may be on a month-to-month basis or longer term. Some states offer financial assistance to help low-income individuals afford assisted living facilities.

Most assisted living residents are at least age 85, but younger individuals with challenging physical or mental conditions may also choose assisted living.

Options for Assisted Living

There are thousands of assisted living facilities to choose from, many of them offering specialized services, so prospective residents have options to find homes that suits their circumstances and preferences.

Assisted living facilities generally provide meals, housekeeping, transportation, security, physical therapy, and activities for residents. Healthcare and supervision are available 24/7 in most facilities.

The assisted living setting is more like a personal residence, compared to a nursing home’s hospital-like setting. Assisted living is suitable for individuals who cannot manage on their own but want to maintain as much independence as possible.

The facility will create a written care plan for each resident, and reassess and update the plan as needed.