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Choosing the right assisted living facility

by Leah DiPlacido

With the numerous assisted living options available, you may become overwhelmed. Check out these tips designed to help you determine if you or your loved one needs assisted living and what options are available.

More than 900,000 people in the U.S. now live in the nearly 40,000 assisted living facilities throughout the country. Assisted living facilities provide varying levels of assistance to residents in many aspects of daily living and health care.

If you or your loved one are having difficulty performing normal daily activities such as grooming, dressing and preparing meals, then an assisted living residence may be right for you. For each resident, these facilities offer the appropriate level of independence, while at the same time insuring their health and well-being.


Assisted living facilities: what kinds of assistance do they offer?

The type of services offered by assisted living facilities vary, with some types of assistance offered "optionally" and for additional cost. Here are some common examples of activities and services, according to the American Health Care Association and the Administration on Aging:

  • Daily meals served in a group dining room
  • Supervision 24 hours a day
  • Personal assistance with tasks such as grooming, bathing and dressing
  • Help with management of medication
  • Social recreational activities
  • Laundry services
  • Exercise programs
  • Security
  • Transportation


Choosing wisely: 5 important factors to note when considering your assisted living options

1. Health and well-being oversight and assistance: Is the staff trained to assist you with needs important for your overall health? Are there professional nurses onsite?

2. Cost: What is the basic monthly cost of the assisted living facility? Does the facility offer services you require at an affordable cost?

3. Living areas: Is the residence appropriate for your needs? Is there enough space? Is it comfortable?

4. Social and spiritual activities: Does the facility offer fun and interesting recreational activities? If you attend church, does the assisted living facility offer transportation?

5. Food: What are the menus like? If you need a special diet, will the staff accommodate you? Are the meals healthy?

When considering your assisted living facility options, bring these questions with you and make sure you are satisfied with the answers you are given. To help determine affordability, use a cost calculator to figure out the estimated costs of the assisted living facility you're considering. Armed with knowledge, you'll be able to discover which assisted living options are right for you.