Assisted Living Placement
What is the difference between an Assisted Living Facility and a Nursing Home?
While both types of senior living have similarities, a nursing home is more of a senior residence that offers healthcare, while assisted living caters to those who need a little less care and who have more independence. Nursing homes are better equipped for seniors who need constant levels of medical supervision as most of the residents require assistance with daily living and are not capable of living independently. Nursing home facilities will typically have skilled nursing available. Nursing home residents typically do not leave the facility on their own due to physical and/or mental constraints, while assisted living residents can come and go freely and experience a greater amount of social interaction. Assisted living residents don’t need as much direct medical attention and only require minimum assistance with daily living tasks.
Accommodations in an assisted living facility more often consists of private apartments that can house a resident’s own furniture and decor. The resident’s privacy is respected by aides and staff whenever possible to foster an independent atmosphere. Light housekeeping and laundry services are almost always available.
Nursing homes provide 24/7 medical attention to residents. These skilled nursing facilities have the level of care necessary in dealing with seniors who require a great deal of help with daily living, suffer from debilitating medical conditions, or have severe cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.
What kind of services are offered in an Assisted Living Facility?
As there are no nationwide standards that define an assisted living facility, the services offered can vary widely. However, assisted living facilities typically offer:
- Minor medical supervision
- Personal care assistance (bathing, dressing, etc.)
- 24-hour supervision
- Security and emergency call systems
- Housekeeping services
- Social activities
Is Medicare accepted at assisted living facilities?
Assisted living facilities are private pay facilities and do not accept Medicare.
What’s the best way to shop for a suitable facility?
First, make sure that an assisted living facility is what you need. Determine whether you, or your loved one, are generally able to manage your own activities of daily living. If so, then your focus is definitely pointed towards an assisted living facility.
Know your rights and discuss them with prospective homes! Residents of all facilities have the right to be:
- Treated with respect and dignity
- Be free from physical and chemical restraint
- Retain personal management of finances
- Voice grievances without fear of retaliation
- Communicate privately with any person
- Send and receive personal mail
- Have medical records kept confidential
Do some research! Searching facilities online can normally offer you reviews from residents. You can also check with the local Department of Social Services who should maintain paper files on each licensed assisted living facility. By calling ahead, they can normally schedule a time to make files ready for viewing. A review of their file can offer a great insight to any fines, complaints and inspections regarding that facility.
It’s highly recommended to make multiple visits to the same facility at different times of the day. Don’t limit your conversations to administrator and staff, but talk with the residents as well. After all, nobody will tell you the truth about a facility more than a current resident!
Take a checklist of questions with you! It’s easy to forget key questions when you are overwhelmed with information during a facility tour.
Never sign an agreement right away. The stress of reading a document on site can cause an anxiety that may cause you to miss key points. Take the agreement home and read it thoroughly. Share it with your family as they might pick up on certain questionable aspects of the agreement that you may have missed.
Should I use an online placement service?
It’s best to avoid any online placement services as many of those companies aren’t actually based in the cities that they sell and can be very uninformed about the quality of local assisted living facilities.
We deal with dozens of these facilities every day and can offer you invaluable information to steer you in the right direction! Call our team today to ask about the best communities and facilities in South Florida. We’re here to help!