If you are thinking of moving a loved one into an assisted living facility, you might want to know a little more about them. Allow us to enlighten you on some things you may not be too clear about and debunk some common misconceptions.
Is Assisted Living the Same as a Nursing Home?
Many people think of these two things as synonymous, but they are not. Nursing homes provide far more intensive care and are typically for people who are bed-ridden or who cannot function on their own. Assisted living residents have more independence and mostly go about their daily business with minimal aid. They usually live in little apartments within the facility rather than a single room like in most nursing homes. They also do not require constant medical attention, unlike those in homes. You should consult a medical professional before deciding in which facility to place your family member.
Are They Expensive?
This varies from individual to individual based on income, but relatively speaking, no. The cost is close to the average rent for an apartment, though they are a little more expensive to account for the care residents receive. If you cannot afford the expenses on your own, there are waivers in most states for low-income people to live in a facility for free. There are also benefits for war veterans and their spouses known as “Aid and Attendance” that allow them to live in these facilities for free.
Are Pets Allowed?
It’s hard to part with your pet. If your loved one’s pet is holding them back from going to an assisted living community, this may not be a problem after all. Many facilities allow pets such as birds, hamsters, fish, or small dogs and cats. Sometimes they have to evaluate the pet first to make sure they will fit in well with the residency.
Are They All the Same?
No. Different facilities provide different levels of care and have different personalities. Some facilities provide light care and have a casual atmosphere. Some places have constant activities for residents like Bingo nights and card games. Others have a higher level of care, sometimes even caring for bedridden residents who don’t want a nursing home. It depends on the licensing of the institution and the qualifications of the staff. You will want to do a lot of research before choosing an assisted living community that is right for your family member.
Multiple visits may be necessary before you know which one is right. It’s a big decision, so it’s important to be informed and prepared to make it.