Is An Assisted Living Facility Right For You Or Your Parents?

The idea of Assisted Living is tremendously appealing – an older individual receiving necessary care and services in a home-like environment, while retaining choice and autonomy. Most Assisted Living facilities are licensed to care for residents only up to a particular need of care.  A generic multi-level system might designate three levels: low, moderate and high.  When a resident has low care needs, the resident may reside at any type of Assisted Living facility.  When the resident's care needs reach the moderate level, the resident is allowed to reside only at a facility licensed for moderate or high care needs.  When the care needs increase to the high level, the resident is allowed only to reside in a facility licensed for high care needs.  Quality of care standards are set for each level to assure that residents receive care that is adequate to meet their needs.

Assisted Living, is the fastest growing form of residential housing for older Americans and has filled the space between nursing homes and the residential home.  With the assisted facility, many people enter their Assisted Living homes with the expectation that this will be their home for the rest of their lives.  Also, they develop friendships and relationships with other residents.  Therefore, the facility becomes their primary community. However, momentum toward Assisted Living, should not lead to that Assisted Living is always the right choice, or that any and all health care conditions should be accommodated within Assisted Living.  Because some Assisted Living facilities may increase their acceptance and retention of residents with significant health care needs that they cannot provide sufficient care. Therefore, there must be a balance between two compelling and sometimes competing goals – allowing residents to "age in place" and assuring that residents receive an adequate and appropriate quality of care.

All assisted facilities are not the same, and can vary within the State.  Therefore, proper evaluation of the facility must be performed.

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