Assisted Living

Seniors are living longer and healthier than ever before. But, half of us will eventually need someone to help us with our normal activities of daily living. Fortunately, many new options are available — assisted living is the most popular — traditional nursing homes are becoming a thing of the past — if you plan ahead before it's too late. We'll help you do that.

To quote AARP, "The philosophy of assisted living emphasizes personal dignity, autonomy, independence, and privacy. The objective of assisted living is to maintain or enhance the capabilities of frail older persons so they can remain as independent as possible in a homelike environment."

Assisted living facilities offer a comfortable home-like atmosphere, security, and a variety of accommodations — from private rooms to studios and larger apartments. Some include a kitchen even though most residents prefer to eat in the common dining room. Facilities typically provide nursing care plans and support services for residents need help with bathing, dressing, remembering to take medication, etc., with assistance available 24-hours-a-day. Social and recreational activities, and transportation for medical appointments and shopping may also be available.

Most assisted living residents never move into nursing homes. But, it is not for people requiring 24-hour skilled nursing care or ongoing medical monitoring. For those residents (less than 10%) who eventually need more care, many assisted living facilities are part of retirement communities that offer a variety of living arrangements from completely independent living to 24-hour skilled nursing care.

Unfortunately, Medicare pays nothing and Medicaid pays very little. Instead, virtually all expenses are paid out-of-pocket by residents and/or their families. So, if you're looking into the possibility of assisted living for yourself or a loved one, the first question to answer is "Can you afford long-term care?"

If your loved one needs this type of care now, or will in the near future, we've included links for the following checklists on another page.

Living Arrangements — What is recommended for your loved one?

Choosing an Assisted Living Facility?

Choosing an Alzheimer's Living Facility?

Here's another page with links to several informative Web sites, Assisted Living and other Living Arrangements