- Up to three meals a day served restaurant style in a common dining area
- Housekeeping services
- Assistance available for those who need help with the tasks of daily living such as bathing aand dressing
- Access to health and medical services
- 24-hour security and staff availability
- Emergency call systems for each resident
- Wellness and exercise programs
- Medication management
- Personal laundry services
- Social and recreational activities
Q: What are the costs associated with assisted living retirement communities?
A: The cost of living in an assisted living community will vary with each community and will depend on the apartment type and size as well as the types of services needed by each resident. Living in an assisted living community usually costs less than home health services and nursing home care. For residents who need services, a basic assisted living fee may cover all services or there may be additional charges for special services. Most assisted living residences charge month-to-month rates and residents and their families generally pay from their own financial resources.
Q: How are assisted living retirement communities different from other options in senior housing?
A: There are a number of living options available to seniors including:
Assisted Living Retirement Communities
Assisted living communities generally provide amenities in a congregate living situation where residents have individual apartments, cottages or villas. Typical amenities include meals (one, two or three) served in a main dining room, with restaurant style service, scheduled housekeeping and linen service, an emergency call system, transportation to scheduled appointments and to outside service providers like banks and retail store. An activities program designed to meet the needs of the specific local culture and values of its residents.
These facilities operate in a number of ways and the extent of the care they can provide depends on the state they operate in and the type of license they possess. Most offer care to persons diagnosed with different types of dementia in addition to Alzheimer's disease. Most offer a secured environment, which means that the resident's access to full exits (usually off of the property) would be limited or restricted. Many offer the resident access to courtyards and pathways that have a secured perimeter allowing the individual to go outdoors and not be totally confined.
Depending on the type of license the community possesses they may care for early and middle stage Alzheimer's residents or they may be able to care for those at the late stage of dementia as well. Generally, these communities offer a specialized program geared to the specific needs of the memory impaired individual. This usually includes an activities program designed for the different stages of dementia in addition to the assistance with activities of daily living and medications.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled nursing facilities provide care regulated under Federal and state laws for individuals who have physical, emotional or psychological problems and cannot take care of personal needs and/or need medical or nursing services. This care can be provided short term for individuals needing skilled nursing care and therapies following a hospitalization (under Medicare for limited time) or long term for those with custodial and medical needs. Skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes provide 24-hour care by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurse assistants.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer several housing options and a wide range of services. Housing options generally include apartments, cottages or villas. These communities offer a continuum of care which includes independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. An initial entrance fee is required and a monthly rate is stipulated depending on the layout and size of the unit and the types of services contracted for. The resident of the CCRC agrees to a lifetime plan to meet their changing care needs.