Seniors who don’t need constant medical care but need some assistance with daily activities such as bathing, grooming, and dressing may benefit from living in an assisted living facility. These communities offer peace of mind for family members who worry about their loved ones at home, and also provide much needed companionship and socialization for seniors who live alone.
In most assisted living communities, residents are encouraged to remain mostly independent by living in private apartments that are modified for safety. Bathrooms often have grab bars for stability, shower stalls have seats or can be accessed with a wheelchair, and toilets are raised for easier mobility. They may also have kitchenettes for prepping light meals and snacks. However, an entire kitchen is not necessary because residents are served nutritious meals in a community dining room. In many cases, housekeeping and laundry services are included in monthly rent, easing that burden for seniors and their family members.
What Services Are Available in an Assisted Living Facility?
Every assisted living community offers different amenities and services, just like every senior is in need of a different level of assistance. For the most part, these are the services available to residents:
- 24-hour supervision and security, often including a medical alert pendant for residents.
- Three meals per day prepared to meet dietary needs such as high blood pressure and diabetes
- Medication reminders or administration
- Basic housekeeping
- Laundry and linen services
- Transportation to doctor’s visits and errands
- Access to an onsite or on-call nurse and other medical specialists such as therapists
- Exercise programs
- Social programs and entertainment
How Much Does it Cost to Live in an Assisted Living Community?
Pricing varies greatly from state-to-state and also depends on whether the facility is private or government sponsored. Luxurious accommodations can cost up to $8,000 per month, while a complex catering to low-income seniors may be $900 per month. According to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the United States national median price of an assisted living facility is $4,300 per month. Some states offer financial assistance with the cost of personal care services provided in these facilities, but do not pay for room and board. Often, sharing an apartment or suite with another resident can reduce costs considerably.
Seniors who need memory care can expect to pay 20-30% more per month, although some facilities offer “Life Care” options, which means residents don’t have to pay more as they go from independent living, to assisted care, to memory care and skilled nursing on the same campus.
When Is It Time to Consider Assisted Living?
Some seniors choose to move to an assisted living community on their own because they know they need help, or no longer want to deal with home maintenance, cooking, laundry, and housekeeping. But sometimes family members notice signs that their loved one should have consistent assistance available. These signs include:
- They’ve been falling, or have balance problems that put them at risk of falling.
- Meal preparation is becoming more difficult.
- They’re losing weight, signaling that they aren’t eating enough nutritious foods.
- They have trouble getting out of bed, bathing, or getting dressed.
- They’re confused about which medications to take and how often to take them.
- They seem lonely or uninterested in social activities.
How Can I Find the Best Assisted Living Facility in My State?
To help family members choose reputable communities where their loved ones can thrive, we’ve put together a guide of the best assisted living facilities in each state. In it, we include communities ranging from ten residents to 800 residents, with costs in every price range. Our hope is that you will find the perfect fit for your loved one where they will be happy, healthy, and safe.