A relatively new concept 25 years ago, assisted living is now the fastest growing long-term care option for senior citizens.
Assisted living facilities help residents maintain their health, wellness, dignity and independence while providing quality care around the clock. According to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), 87 percent of residents residing in assisted living require some degree of assistance with food preparation and 81 percent need help managing medication.
As outlined by the Assisted Living Federation of America, senior care in assisted living centers should encompass accessibility, independence, quality of life, dignity and personal choices. The NCAL created guiding principles so that all assisted living facilities must “strive to meet the social, emotional, cultural, intellectual and spiritual well-being of residents.” A recent national survey stated that more than 90 percent of residents reported experiences with high quality of life, high level of care and a sense of security in the assisted living community.
Currently, the greater Jefferson County area houses three locations that collectively have 197 assisted living apartments designed to meet the needs of the elderly. These communities offer a wide range of services and provide an alternative to those who require some assistance but
don’t need a skilled nursing facility. In addition to housing, assisted living facilities provide supportive services to seniors that require assistance with daily living activities like bathing, dressing, grooming and hygiene, as well as medication reminders, meals and housekeeping and laundry services. While each community has varying policies on pets, some welcome well-behaved, four-legged friends.
Emphasis on social relationships is another important element of senior living communities. Maintaining social relationships can be difficult, especially for those seniors who live alone. Assisted living communities offer opportunities for socialization by providing planned activities and outings, boosting social interaction by providing exciting things to do.
For many seniors, assisted living provides just the level of care they need to flourish and triumph in their new phase of life while providing family members the security of knowing their loved one is in a safe, loving environment. After all, the golden years should be a time of enjoyment
and fulfillment, and assisted living communities can be the path to get there.