Assisted living is a broadly used term for long-term care that offers housing, personal assistance, support services and health care. The major goals of this sector of senior care includes autonomy, individual functioning and the maintaining of personal dignity. In short, assisted living provides the help that is needed and as much independence as possible, along with a family or home-like atmosphere.
This care model is designed to help both the seniors and their family members. Many seniors in assisted living see themselves as being in charge of their own “more social” lives, while feeling less like a burden to their family. Many family members feel the can now meet and enjoy other commitments (children, work, etc.), while still having an active role in the lives of their senior loved ones, and making sure they receive the assistance and personal care that they need.
Assisted living homes, facilities and communities strive to create a look that appeals to their seniors while developing an atmosphere that makes them feel right at home. Here are some of the things these care providers do to accomplish these goals.
- Design (or modify) the structure or campus to have a warm residential or neighborhood atmosphere, instead of cold institutional feel.
- Provide as much privacy as a senior desires (and safety permits) while encouraging social involvement.
- Promote independence and choice, while aiding with adjustments to interdependence.
- Offer services and amenities that seniors and their families need and/or desire.
- Emphasize health maintenance, physical movement and mental stimulation.
- Support and encourage family participation in the lives of their loved ones.
ADL’s And More
Many seniors choose assisted living because they need help with one or more of the basic actions that get them through the day – the Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). These include:
- Eating and drinking.
- Mobility and getting around. The technical term that may be used is “ambulating”.
- This can include transferring, such as getting from a wheelchair to the bed.
- Dressing and grooming.
- Bathing and maintaining personal hygiene.
- Toileting, bladder and bowel management.
In addition, assisted living provides help with the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL’s). These tasks help a person live more independently and can include housework, shopping, preparing meals, managing and monitoring medications, and communicating with family members and doctors
Sources: Assisted Living Federation of America – Argentum, Caregiver.org)