Coming to the realization that you or a loved one may need to enter an Assisted Living facility or community can be difficult. For starters, it’s not an easy decision for anyone involved. Moving out of the home into a facility can be a touchy topic of conversation. However, in some cases safety and quality of life can improve greatly after making the transition.
What’s also important to realize is that you’re not alone. More than 735,000 Americans today live in Assisted Living facilities, according to the American Health Care Association. Assisted Living is a rapidly growing option for seniors who need long-term care. Here are three reasons to consider that same option for yourself or for your aging family member.
Avoiding Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression
As people grow older, they frequently find it more difficult to get around for everyday needs, or to visit friends and family as they once did. Driving may no longer be an option, and people can spend a lot of time alone in their homes or isolated with a spouse who is also having trouble with everyday activities. The resulting loneliness can result in exacerbated mental and physical health issues. A 2013 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that older people separated from family and friends had a 26 percent higher death risk.
Moving to an Assisted Living community means you or your loved one will be surrounded by other people in similar situations; people eager to engage in conversation. Additionally, communities typically organize activities and clubs for residents to help encourage socialization.
Can’t Maintain a Home or Keep up with Finances
Daily chores such as cooking, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, and paying the bills can become too cumbersome as a person gets older. If these tasks are getting neglected, an Assisted Living community is a potential solution. For example, the National Center for Assisted Living notes that 87 percent of people living in Assisted Living need help preparing meals.
Assistance with these types of activities is typically available on a fee for service basis or is bundled with the living arrangement.
Help May Be Necessary for Everyday Activities
Most seniors in Assisted Living are self-directing, and many are still able to function independently. For them, Assisted Living offers security, daily meals, housekeeping, and social programs. They have their own apartments within the facility, and retain a strong sense of independence.
Others in Assisted Living need assistance with Activities of Daily Living (commonly referred to as the “ADL’s”). These seniors cannot independently eat, bathe, move around the house, get dressed, or take care of other personal needs. Assisted Living communities usually can provide 24-hour supervision and staff to assist with the ADL’s. However, Assisted Living is not for residents who have serious medical conditions, and who require skilled nursing care.
AARP offers a checklist of how to find a reputable Assisted Living facility in your state, as they are not regulated or inspected by the federal government.
How to Pay for Assisted Living
In New York, if you need assistance with Activities of Daily Living such as dressing, bathing, or getting in and out of bed, and are in an Assisted Living facility, you may be able to access Community Medicaid to pay for it. New York Community Medicaid does not have the five year “look back” that so many people fear: the look back applies only to nursing home Medicaid. Moving to an assisted living facility can help you to remain independent longer, and you don’t have to “spend down” all your money. Obtaining Medicaid assistance quickly to pay for your care will protect your savings and allow them to last as long as possible.
This article provides only a few of the reasons why Assisted Living may be a great choice for you or someone you know. If you have specific questions about Assisted Living and how it may impact you or a loved one legally and financially, visit Your Situation on our website, call Lamson & Cutner or click here to get in touch today.