Until recently, many options were not available to the elderly in need of care and assistance. However, as the demand for such care has increased significantly, now there are many innovative solutions that were developed to suit various types of care needs. According to the 2010 Investment Guide of the National Investment Center, there were more than 6300 professionally administered assisted living communities in the United States, with more than 475000 apartments.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living, which is also known as residential care, is a safe and secure type of living environment which offers personal care services like meals, transportation, housekeeping and help with general activities of daily living (including dressing, bathing, toileting, and diapering) as required. Assisted living provides the residents with comfort, security, and a number of meaningful activities while motivating them to live their lives with dignity and independence.
The following are the major services offered at an assisted living community:
Social events: Assisted living communities generally offer various activities and events intended to engage the residents' body as well as mind, and to make them more active.
Dining services: Assisted living facilities offer customized menus and healthy dining plans which generally include three wholesome meals per day.
Transportation: Most assisted living communities offer transportation service, which generally include car or bus service to nearby shopping centers, doctor visits etc.
Wellness programs: Assisted living centers offer several wellness programs intended to make the residents healthier and more active. The services may include fitness programs, exercise classes, and nutrition and weight control advice.
Support services: Though assisted living facilities offer independent life, the residents get necessary help with their activities of daily living as needed.
What is Ambient Living?
Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) uses intelligent products and remote services in order to increase the autonomy of the elderly people and to assist them in performing the activities of daily living. The main objective of AAL is to improve the life quality of the elderly people the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
What is the difference between independent living and assisted living?
Independent living does not offer extra assistance with daily activities of life such as preparing meals, managing medications, personal hygiene, and transportation. Elderly residents who need assistance with such daily activities of life can choose an assisted living facility where they can live independently and get additional assistance as required.
What is the difference between a nursing home and an assisted living community?
These are the major differences between a nursing home and an assisted living center:
- Residents in an assisted living community are independent but may require a little help with daily living activities like dressing and bathing. But nursing home residents need round-the-clock assistance with all activities of daily living.
- Residents are mobile in assisted living but nursing home residents are bed-ridden and need 24-hour skilled nursing care.
- In general, nursing home residents have a semi-private or single room. But assisted living provides the residents with a one-bedroom apartment or a studio.