Assisted Living Insights

by Melrose Gardens

Assisted Living Insights

An assisted living residence or assisted living facility (ALF) is a living arrangement for people who can’t live individually without assistance. The term is common in the United States but is comparable to a retirement home in the sense that both situations provide a collective living environment for an elderly population.

Assisted Living Hierarchy

Assisted living offers a carefully arranged hierarchy of care types and services. These senior care services are subject to state rather than federal regulatory oversight, and as a result, the actual terminology and lexicon surrounding senior care services varies from region to region in the United States. The legal definition of assisted living depends on both the state and worker in question. Variations in state regulatory definitions are noteworthy and provider variables include everything from philosophy, geographic location and auspice, to organizational size and structure. Assisted living progressed from small "board and care" or "personal care" homes, and offers a social model of care (associated with the medical model of a skilled nursing facility). The assisted living industry is a section of the senior housing industry and assisted living services can be transported in stand-alone facilities or as part of multi-level senior living communities.

Seniors in Assisted Living vs. Home Care

In a housing community, where there is 24-hour availability of personal care, as well as nutrition and wellness facilities considered exactly for older adults, seniors can benefit from social contact, security and support while still preserving the comforts and freedoms of home. Assisted living is a great transitional step for seniors who want more benefit than the family can deliver at home, but who don’t need or want the round-the-clock medical maintenance of a nursing facility.

Is assisted living the right solution for you parents?

Some of the most beneficial features of assisted living for seniors include:

Access to Fitness Activities

Group exercise programs like Tai Chi and Zumba, are popular in senior living communities for their low physical impact and great health benefits. Assisted living programs create opportunities for physical well being  that go far beyond what family caregivers can effortlessly deliver at home.

Opportunities for Social Activity

Living at home can obviously be detaching if a senior resides alone. It can be difficult to maintain social relationships when they are retired and not working. In assisted living, residents can easily socialize with peers casually and in organized activities like field trips, dancing, and cultural events.

A Safe Living Environment

For seniors to continue existing securely at home, extensive home modifications may be needed — such as bath fences, in home care specialists, et al — and the costs can rapidly add up. Even with these care measures in place, this still doesn’t address the issue of the person’s happiness. Assisted living services are intended for flexibility and availability, serving seniors at the moment they need help.

Intellectual Stimulation

Group activities, social events, games, classes, and hobbies are all features of the best assisted living facilities. Melrose Gardens has one of the most well thought out activity programs for assisted living facilities in Los Angeles. Intellectual stimulation is key for the happiness of our residents, and it’s also a major component of our comprehensive memory care program.

Administered Nutrition

It can be very problematic to supervise senior nutrition at home. Seniors living alone may have problems cooking for themselves, and their adult children or other family often feel the need to monitor whether they are receiving essential nutrients. In assisted living, residents generally receive three meals a day tailored to the shifting health needs of older adults.

Housekeeping and Cleaning

Keeping the house clean, weeding the garden, getting to arrangements and social schedules — these are day-to-day issues that often fall on caregivers when a senior parent is living at home, whether they live alone or with the family. Most of these issues are resolved when older adults live in assisted living, as most assisted living services, even at the basic level, include upkeep and housekeeping in the monthly service.

Daily Living Assistance

Family caregivers are also mostly responsible for common assistance such as bathing, dressing, and eating when a senior family member lives at home. In some cases, the family or the senior themselves must bear the responsibility of acting as a home care advisor. One of the most basic functions of assisted living is serving older adults with these common assistance tasks.

The Loots of Freedom

Being able to preserve one’s independence is satisfying in and of itself — and occasionally that requires accepting a bit of help now and then. Assisted living helps seniors care for themselves while also providing the ability for them to focus on doing what they enjoy. Alleviating the pressure from children to provide daily assistance can decrease everybody’s pressure level and even improve family relations. The time that adult children devote with their senior parents can then be focused on quality visits rather than chores and logistical issues.

When Is Assisted Living Right For Your Family?

Children also often feel the pressure to provide all of the care for their parents, but this often results in compromised care for the parent, and it takes the joy out of the time that’s being spent together. It’s ultimately up to the senior and their family to determine at what point everyone would be happier if some of the care tasks were deferred to professionals. Assisted living centers have been carefully developed to provide quality care for seniors as the result of extensive research. Senior care has stigma in many people’s minds because, in past decades, senior care facilities were not up to caliber of care which the best assisted living facilities of today provide. Ultimately, we suggest carefully assessing your family’s needs, keeping an open mind about the idea of assisted living, and then stringently vetting assisted living programs which appear to be a good match.