Assisted Living Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Assisted Living?
An Assisted Living lifestyle offers seniors an independent environment while providing basic assistance with their activities of daily living. Services may include daily meals, 24-hour staffing, housekeeping and laundry services, apartment maintenance, scheduled transportation, social and recreational activities, medication assistance, bathing assistance, and other personal assistance as needed. Common lounges, TV rooms, library, exercise rooms, and dining rooms are included in most Assisted Living communities.
How will I know when it’s time for assisted living?
Not everyone is ready for alternate living at the same time. There are many things to consider when making a lifestyle change: Are you experiencing any health-related problems that limit your ability to take care of your every day needs, such as cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, and shopping? Do you feel socially isolated, bored or lonely? Would you like to live in a beautiful environment, full of amenities and activities that make you feel comfortable and pampered? Assisted Living provides basic assistance with daily living. Services may include meals, 24-hour staff, housekeeping and laundry services, transportation, planned activities and more. If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, then it may be time for you to consider an Assisted Living lifestyle option.
Do all assisted living facilities offer the same services?
No. Assisted Living communities differ in services, lifestyles, amenities, levels of care, apartment features, apartment layouts, recreational programs, and food programs. Prepare yourself prior to touring a community by writing a list of questions that pertain to services offered. What can I bring from home to add to my apartment? You may bring any furniture, artwork and decorations that will make your apartment special and reflect your individual style. If you choose not to bring in furniture, furnished apartments may be available.
Are pets allowed?
Pets are welcome, with documentation of immunizations and a minor one-time fee. If you like animals, but don’t have one of your own, animals from various organizations visit every so often during activity programs.
How can I pay for Assisted Living?
If you purchased private long-term care insurance, check the provisions of your plan to find out how much Assisted Living is covered. Most Assisted Living care is private pay. Residents in Assisted Living pay for expenses from private money sources. These sources can include income from pensions, retirement funds, savings and investment accounts. Some residents receive financial help from their families. Other residents pay for Assisted Living with proceeds from the sale of real estate and personal property.
In the US, Medicare, the government health insurance for seniors, does not cover the costs of Assisted Living. In some cases, Medicaid, government health insurance based on financial need, may provide a limited benefit. Veterans may be eligible for benefits when they live in an approved Assisted Living community which provides a continuum of care. Ask the staff about financial aid programs.
What kinds of things will I do all day?
An important component of quality of life is socializing with others and assisted living communities provide a means for that interaction. There are many activities which are offered to ensure that you have something to do that fits your interests. Many different games are offered, such as bingo, cards, board games, and puzzles. There are always parties to celebrate something. There is generally some kind of physical exercise activity planned everyday. There are movie nights and popcorn. In addition, there is scheduled entertainment, usually one to two different entertainers per week. There might be musical entertainment one night and a magic show another night. The better assisted living communities offer many different activities to accommodate people’s needs and interests. If you have questions regarding the activities schedule, talk to the activities director. They are always open for suggestions and will appreciate your input!
What if I don’t feel like socializing? Will I have privacy?
If you desire complete privacy then you have the option of staying in your apartment. Sometimes privacy cannot be given if you need assistance with certain things. However, most assisted living communities encourage residents to socialize and engage with other residents. Meal time is always a good time for visiting and sharing a meal together. Staying in your room alone for too long can lead to loneliness and possibly depression.
As an assisted living resident, will I be kept on a daily schedule?
For some activities you will be on a daily schedule but you may still make many choices. Seniors in assisted living still maintain some independence and can decide which activities they wish to participate in. For example, if you usually play cards at a certain time, you can decide not to play one day. You do not have to attend the scheduled activities.
You will be on a daily schedule when it comes to things like meals, bathing, medication, dressing and grooming, and housekeeping. Three meals are served each day: one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. There is a period of time scheduled for certain services. For instance, if you require assistance with bathing, you will know that a staff member will come to your apartment on a certain day between 8:00a.m. and 9:00a.m.