What is Assisted Living?

  1. What is Assisted Living?
  2. What Is the Cost of Assisted Living? (How to Afford Assisted Living)
  3. The Hidden Costs of Assisted Living

Assisted living provides long-term housing and care for seniors. Assisted living residents are generally active, but may need support with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and using the toilet. Seniors in assisted living can expect personalized care, nutritious meals, a wide range of social activities to cater to a variety of interests, and a sense of community in a safe, residential setting.

What are the benefits of assisted living?

While each community is different, assisted living offers services and amenities to focus on important aspects of senior wellness, including physical health, intellectual stimulation, and social connection. These three foundational pillars help slow cognitive decline and keep seniors healthier and happier longer.

Assisted Living Services

  • Assistance with hygiene and personal care
  • Medication management
  • Mobility assistance
  • Nutritious meals
  • Health care services coordination
  • Social activities and outings
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Lawn maintenance and repairs

Peace of mind for families and improved quality of life for seniors are just a few of the many benefits of assisted living. Assisted living residents receive the support they need while enjoying the regular company of neighbors and staff members.

Many facilities offer comfort and convenience and eliminate the need for transportation.

Assisted living vs. nursing homes

Assisted living and nursing homes differ in many ways, although some people may think of these two senior care types as synonymous. Both assisted living and nursing homes offer housing, meal services, and help with ADLs, such as bathing, toileting, and walking. One of the biggest differences is that seniors in assisted living don’t require skilled nursing services like people in nursing homes.

Assisted living residents are generally active seniors who remain relatively independent with the exception of certain specific daily tasks. While they may have some health problems, seniors in assisted living don’t require 24-hour medical care and supervision. They may be interested in a maintenance-free lifestyle in a vibrant community that offers a variety of social activities and opportunities to stay engaged with friends and peers.

Like assisted living, nursing homes also offer activities for residents, but assisted living facilities usually have more diverse options to cater to all tastes and preferences, including exercise classes, cooking workshops, outings to theaters, and more. The lifestyle at an assisted living facility is very different when compared to a nursing home. Assisted living accommodations may feel homier and more spacious, while nursing home residents often have to share a room.

The cost of care at nursing homes is also significantly higher when compared to assisted living. This is because seniors at nursing homes often need a higher level of care than what is offered at assisted living. In fact, seniors need a physician’s prescription to be admitted to a nursing home. Some may be debilitated and need intensive skilled care and supervision. Others may be bedridden or need a feeding tube.

Assisted living vs. memory care

Like assisted living, memory care is also a residential facility that provides meals and help with daily activities. The main difference between assisted living and memory care is the specialized support memory care facilities offer for people with memory loss.

Assisted living may be a good solution for some seniors with early-stage dementia or Alzheimer’s.

However, as their symptoms worsen, they’ll likely need the support offered at memory care facilities. Memory care staff receive regular, thorough training in dementia care to help prevent and manage difficult dementia behaviors, like sundown syndrome. Memory care also provides a secure environment with locked entrances and spaces designed to prevent wandering, along with memory-enhancing therapies to help seniors keep their cognitive skills as long as possible.

People with dementia can begin to exhibit certain behaviors as the dementia progresses. If behaviors are impacting the quality of day-to-day living, a person with dementia would be better off living in a facility that provides memory care.

Increased security, specialized staff, and more one-on-one time for residents make care at memory care facilities significantly more expensive when compared to assisted living.

Many assisted living facilities also offer memory care. These communities often have a separate wing designated for residents with memory loss, where trained staff provide the care, therapies, and support elderly adults with memory loss need. The transition to memory care may be easier for these seniors as they’re able to stay in the same community even as their disease progresses.

Assisted living vs. independent living

Independent living and assisted living cater to different senior needs. Both senior living options offer safe, senior-friendly housing and amenities, with social activities, outings, and restaurant-style meals. However, independent living differs from assisted living as it doesn’t provide help with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and grooming. This means independent living is often less expensive than assisted living.

Independent living is for older adults who can live on their own, but may desire convenience, community, and peace of mind. Independent living communities provide many on-site opportunities for community involvement and social engagement without the difficulty of arranging transportation. It also offers a maintenance-free lifestyle, where seniors can choose to delegate household chores like laundry and housekeeping, so they can spend more time pursuing their passions.

Assisted living vs. home care

Home care offers care for seniors who wish to age in place, and provides support and respite for caregivers. Home care aides are trained in senior care and can provide companionship, help with ADLs, light housekeeping, cooking, transportation, and more.

However, home care differs from assisted living when it comes to socialization, intellectual stimulation, and cost.

  • Socialization. While home care offers one-on-one care tailored to individual needs, seniors in assisted living enjoy a variety of social programs and outings in a community of peers.
  • Intellectual stimulation. Assisted living facilities offer classes and continuing learning opportunities for seniors that home care can’t provide, including art and craft studios, cooking workshops, brain games, and more.
  • Cost. The level of care provided by home care aides is based on needs, and costs are calculated by the type of care provided. Home care fees are charged by the hour. This means that home care may be an expensive alternative to assisted living, depending on how much care is needed.
    Caring for an aging loved one at home may also require modifications to make their home safe and accessible. These could include simple additions such as grab bars, to more costly and difficult updates, including ramps, wider doorways, chair lifts, walk-in showers, and elevators.

Caring for an aging loved one at home may also require modifications to make their home safe and accessible. These could include simple additions such as grab bars, to more costly and difficult updates, including ramps, wider doorways, chair lifts, walk-in showers, and elevators.

Three Tree Vista is equipped and trained to handle patients of all ages, with a variety of mild to moderate medical needs, including: Alzheimer’s • Dementia • Parkinson’s • Cerebral Palsy • Recovery from Accident, Surgery or Stroke • And More!