Housing Options for SeniorsAssisted LivingMary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care and today I'm discussing the various senior housing options, and how to choose the best one for your parents. Now, I'm going to talk about assisted living facilities.
Assisted living services include 24 hour protective oversight, food, shelter, and a range of services that promote the quality of life of the individual. An assisted living facility can be an attractive option when your parent lives too far away for you to provide oversight. Another consideration might be that your parent requires more support from professional caregivers that is financially bearable.
If you and your parents are considering this housing option, they must be prepared to address the four difficult but important issues. One, having adequate finances to afford assisted living, two, losing their independence, three, having little if any contact with old friends because of the move, and four, being able to bring only a limited number of possessions to the assisted living facility.
The diversity among assisted living facilities is striking. There really are no cross industry trends. In general, each facility does its own thing. With that in mind, before considering this choice for your parents, be sure to ask if the facility provide certain benefits. Let's make a list.
Does the Assisted Living Facility offer Proximity to Family and Friends, Dining Services, Housekeeping and Laundry Services, Assistance with Medications, Transportation for shopping, and medical appointments, Exercise and fitness Facilities and classes, an in-house Pharmacy with comparable market prices, programs to stimulate the Brain, Social Programs, Personalized Activities in which your parent could engage, and are all of these items included in the Monthly Fee? Let's talk about that monthly fee for a minute.
Before deciding on the Assisted Living Facility option, you must be sure to understand the actual cost. First, ask for an itemized list of the basic services included in the monthly fee. Once you examine that list, make notes of any services which are being paid for but not needed.
Then, take those items back to the Facility Manager and see if you can negotiate a lower fee. Considering that the national average for a private paying monthly base rate for an individual residing in an assisted living community is $3,000; negotiating a lower rate could definitely be in your parent's best interest.
Despite the high cost assisted living facilities do have their advantages. First, since there are so many available, selecting this housing option usually minimizes the need to relocate.
Second, based on available services, these facilities can accommodate individual resident's changing needs, and preferences. Perhaps, most importantly, assisted living facilities maximize a resident's dignity, autonomy, privacy, independence, choice, and safety. They also encourage family and community involvement resulting in excellent quality of life and relationships.
On the negative side, depression maybe triggered in your parents by the loss of full independence; on the monetary side, pharmacies affiliated with assisted living communities will often charge residents more for prescriptions than an independent pharmacy would. So it's important to ask about charges relative to your parent's medication.
Another disadvantage is that the average resident stays only two years and most likely moves to a 24 hour skilled nursing facility. In the end, it's best to choose the assisted living option if your parent is beginning to need help with the basic activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, walking, managing medications, toileting, and eating. The last housing option we're going to discuss is skilled nursing care. We do that in our next video.