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What is Assisted Living?

As you browse through senior living options for yourself or a loved one, you’ll undoubtedly come across the phrase assisted living. But what is assisted living? When is it recommended? How does it differ from a nursing home or home care? To put it simply, assisted living facilities provide elderly people with housing and services (nursing care, housekeeping, prepared meals), but independence is emphasized and many services are available but not mandatory. In a way, it’s a go-between for seniors who aren’t comfortable living alone but don’t need the extensive care provided in a nursing home. If you’re interested in learning more, scroll down.

What is assisted living?

Assisted living is a long-term care option for seniors or people with disabilities. Housing is provided as well as a variety of services and amenities, which will vary depending on the facility. Most assisted living facilities provide basic services like prepared meals, transportation, housekeeping, health care monitoring, and an emergency call system, as well as personal care services like bathing and dressing.

What are the benefits of living in an assisted living facility?

The services offered at assisted living facilities help seniors feel safe and comfortable in their sunset years. At the same time, seniors can maintain a sense of independence by only using those services when they feel they’re necessary. Plus, the sense of community in an assisted living facility (the friendships, activities, group outings, events) bring comfort and joy to seniors who previously lived alone. To learn more about the benefits of assisted living, please click here.

How are assisted living facilities and nursing homes different? What other options are there?

Nursing homes are much more intensive than assisted living facilities. If your loved one needs constant nursing care or intensive medical care, they should be placed in a nursing home, not assisted living. Nursing homes have nurses available 24 hours a day. Assisted living communities rarely offer such constant care, but residents have a stronger sense of independence since they live in their own apartment and may take care of a number of daily tasks on their own (like bathing, dressing, and housekeeping). A third option is home care, which is perfect for seniors who prefer to live in their own home but need the assistance of a professional caregiver.

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So what is assisted living? It’s a living arrangement for seniors in which a variety of services are offered as needed. An assisted living facility also provides security, comfort, and community. However, it’s important to note that this is a general term. The definition of “assisted living” and its licensing regulations vary from state to state. Plus, the services and amenities offered in individual assisted living communities vary greatly. So before you decide on a facility, be sure to take a tour and ask plenty of questions. Good luck!

If you’re looking for a senior living facility in the Midwest, be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living Place. Our eight senior living facilities are located in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. If you would like to take a tour of one of our facilities, please click here.

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