What is the “Assistance” in Assisted Living?

February 7, 2020

Quite often, it’s a loved one who notices a decline in an older adult’s ability to care for themselves. Routine daily activities like grooming, housekeeping, cooking and especially driving become a growing concern. Or maybe it’s simply getting around, socialization or safety that’s an issue. While it’s only natural to want to stay independent in your own home for as long as possible, there will most likely come a time when your loved one will need a little assistance now and then when physical abilities begin to diminish.

What Does Assisted Living Provide?

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is assisted living?” simply put, assisted living for the elderly provides seniors personalized help with activities of daily living (ADLs) in a residential setting to help them maintain and enhance their independence. Those seeking support typically require help with at least two everyday tasks, such as dressing, personal care, bathing, medication management, housekeeping, meal preparation, mobility, and transfer.

Some assisted living facilities are stand-alone communities. Others, like McLean, are Life Plan Communities (also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs). They offer active, robust independent living along with a full continuum of health care services, including assisted living. You’ll find a highly trained care team on-site 24/7 to provide a familiar helping hand whenever needed. Residents are assessed when they move in, so they can get an individualized care plan to meet specific needs and make their care truly personal.

Many assisted living facilities also provide specialized care for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

What Else Does Assisted Living Provide?

Although no two assisted living communities are the same, most offer a vast array of life-enriching amenities and services that further make life easier and more enjoyable. Such amenities may include a fitness center, indoor swimming pool or guest apartments. You may find services like exercise and wellness programs, community outings, and an on-site health clinic. All in all, assisted living communities like McLean are designed to deliver a healthy lifestyle and social engagement.

Amenities and services found at most assisted living communities generally include:

  • Three nutritious meals per day
  • All home maintenance
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Wellness and fitness programs
  • Nursing oversight
  • Care for chronic conditions like diabetes
  • Health services and medication management
  • Salon/barbershop
  • Organized recreational, social, cultural and educational programs
  • 24/7 security and emergency call system
  • Physical, speech and occupational therapies
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Social services and spiritual activities

Note that all assisted living facilities differ, especially when it comes to what’s provided in your monthly fee. While McLean provides all-inclusive pricing, many communities have a la carte pricing, meaning you have to pay extra for certain services and amenities. When asking about what is included in assisted living at a community, it’s important to inquire about any additional fees.

When is it Time to Consider Assisted Living?

When thinking about whether living at home is still the best option, it’s best to start with a physician’s assessment and an honest appraisal of your loved one’s ability with daily tasks. Although everyone’s situation is different, here are 15 common signs that can help determine when Assisted Living is right for your loved one.

  1. They’re having trouble maneuvering safely around the house or in public.
  2. Their house has become uncharacteristically cluttered, dirty, and isin disrepair.
  3. They’ve had a recent fall or have unexplained bruising./li>
  4. There are stacks of unopened mail and unpaid bills.
  5. They seem unkempt, or their hygiene has suffered.
  6. Preparing meals has become more difficult.
  7. There’s a lack of fresh foods in the house, and they’re not eating properly.
  8. They’ve lost interest in socializing, hobbies and activities.
  9. They’re forgetting to take their medications or get prescriptions filled.
  10. There are other signs of forgetfulness like getting lost or leaving the stove on.
  11. They’ve become more forgetful, perhaps missing important appointments.
  12. They’ve noticeably gained or lost weight.
  13. They have a worsening chronic health condition.
  14. Their pets are being neglected.
  15. Their driving has become a concern.

And how are you doing? As you know, being a primary caregiver or a hand of support can be stressful and downright exhausting. While you only want the best for your loved one, your health and well-being are important, too. An Assisted Living community may not only improve the quality of life for your loved one, but for you and the rest of your family as well.

Need more help?
Having the conversation with a loved one about moving out of a house full of memories is filled with complexities. The earlier you start the conversation, the easier the transition can be. To learn more about just what is Assisted Living and how our Assisted Living neighborhood at McLean can help your loved one thrive and live as independently as possible, please visit our Assisted Living page.

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