Find Assisted Living Near Me
What Is Assisted Living Near Me?
When an aging loved one can no longer lead a full life without daily help, it might be time to consider an assisted living facility. In assisted living, residents get support with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, personal grooming, and medication management while still maintaining a sense of independence. In addition to 24/7 personal care support from trained staff, assisted living residents enjoy access to a wide range of amenities, such as activities and special events, housekeeping, transportation, on-site exercise rooms, beauty salons, libraries, etc. Assisted living is a great option for older adults who need extra support throughout the day but don’t require constant medical supervision.
How Does Assisted Living Compare to Other Senior Care Options?
When it comes to choosing a senior care option, there are several potential solutions. Here is a brief comparison of some of the other most common senior care options:
Residential Care Homes/Board and Care Homes
Care homes — also known as assisted living homes, board and care homes, residential care homes, or adult family homes — offer a similar level of care to assisted living but in a smaller, home-like setting. Care homes are a great alternative for seniors who need non-medical supervision and ADL support but want to live in a more close-knit community. They are located in a residential neighborhood, provide residents with a private or semi-private bedroom and home-cooked meals with family-style dining. Care homes typically house fewer than 20 residents (including staff), offering a higher caregiver-to-resident ratio than other forms of senior group living.
These communities are an excellent option for seniors who can manage their daily basic living needs independently and may be transitioning from living in their own home. Most communities offer an apartment-style home along with a range of services that allow residents the flexibility to pick and choose what chores they want to handle — for example, one to two daily meals, housekeeping, laundry, apartment maintenance, etc. Many independent living communities also offer a variety of leisure activities, wellness programs, restaurant-style dining, beauty services, and even adult education opportunities. It is a good option for seniors who want to socialize with other seniors, don’t need daily care assistance, and don’t want to bother with home management.
Memory care is for seniors living with memory loss or cognitive impairment. For example, they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Memory care facilities are specifically designed to ensure resident safety with features such as enclosed courtyards, color-coded hallways, and secure entry/exits to prevent wandering. Memory care residents enjoy similar services and amenities as assisted living but with an additional level of security. Moreover, the staff is specially trained to deal with the unique needs of people dealing with memory loss or dementia and provide personalized activities to promote cognitive and physical well-being.
In-home care (sometimes called companion care, home care or non-medical home care) is personal, non-medical care that allows seniors to more safely and comfortably age in place at home. Professionally trained caregivers typically help aging adults with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing and dressing, preparing meals, managing medication, and providing transportation and companionship. Depending on the senior’s needs and budget, caregivers might visit a few hours a week, daily or continuously.
Adult Day Care Centers
Adult day care centers allow regular caregivers to have some time off while ensuring that their loved one still receives appropriate care in a friendly, safe environment. Adult day care centers usually operate during normal business hours five days a week — though some offer additional services during evenings and weekends (many also provide transportation). Adult day cares generally specialize their services where they focus primarily on social interaction, medical care, or memory care. Trained staff assist with ADLs, arrange activities, and (if licensed to do so) medical supervision.
Nursing homes — also called skilled nursing facilities — provide the highest level of care out of all senior living options and are for older adults who need 24-hour skilled medical support and supervision performed by licensed medical providers. Some nursing homes provide long-term care, while others specialize in short-term rehabilitative services. For example, seniors who normally live in assisted living might be temporarily transferred to a nursing home after surgery but move back into assisted living once they’ve recovered.
|Assisted Living/Care Homes||Independent Living||Memory Care||In-home Care||Adult Day-Care||Nursing Home|
|Assistance with ADLs|
When Is Assisted Living Right for Your Loved One?
Assisted living is best suited for older adults who need support with one or more activities of daily living but otherwise require minimal medical oversight. However, it can be tricky to know when it’s time to transition your loved one into an assisted living facility. There are many logistical and lifestyle factors to consider, such as:
- The type of home they currently live in (and the amount of upkeep it requires)
- Whether they live alone, with a spouse, or with other family members
- How long they have been living in their current location
- Their financial situation
- The strength and support of their social network
You don’t want to take them out of their home before it’s necessary. But at the same time, you don’t want to wait too long and risk their safety and happiness. While every situation is different, here are some signs that it’s time to transition into assisted living — both to ensure their well-being and your peace of mind:
- Difficulties with home maintenance and routine tasks. Signs like unpaid bills, lack of housekeeping, or a decline in personal hygiene might indicate that your loved one feels overwhelmed and needs additional support.
- Diminishing mobility and stability. Balance issues, frequent falls, or trouble with climbing the stairs or using the toilet are all red flags that your loved one needs to be moved to a safer environment.
- Driving mishaps. New scrapes and minor dents to their car — particularly those they don’t remember getting — suggest their driving skills are declining.
- Changes in behavior. Symptoms like abandoning hobbies or increased mood swings can be warning signs of emotional health concerns (such as feeling isolated).
- Declining memory and cognitive skills. Exhibiting signs of memory loss or cognitive decline is another important indication that your loved one needs assistance. For example, they are having trouble managing their finances, missing appointments, or repeating conversations over and over again.
- Mismanaging health needs. Another red flag that your loved one needs additional support and supervision is if they are no longer taking medication properly or are unable to properly manage chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Keep in mind assisted living isn’t the best choice for everyone. For example, someone diagnosed with memory loss or dementia might need the more specialized care provided by a memory care community. If your loved one has a chronic condition or disability requiring in-depth healthcare, you should look into a long-term skilled nursing facility.
What Level of Care Is Provided With Assisted Living?
The level of care provided by an assisted living community can vary. At a minimum, residents will receive assistance with ADLs. Depending on state law, facilities might also have licensed medical providers on staff to perform routine checkups. However, assisted living facilities are not equipped to handle more serious healthcare needs (such as mid-late stage dementia or conditions requiring 24/7 nursing supervision). This is one of the reasons why potential residents undergo a needs assessment before moving into assisted living. This process helps the staff determine if the assisted living community can accommodate the person’s behavior or mental condition, health issues, and personal care and hygiene needs.
Assisted living facilities generally provide the following services:
- Assistance with activities of daily living (such as dressing, bathing, personal hygiene, etc.)
- Escort and transfer assistance
- Medication management
- Nutritional meals and snacks
- Housekeeping laundry services
- Transportation to appointments, shopping, etc.
- Community and social activities
- 24-hour support services
- Emergency call system
In addition to the standard services listed above, luxury assisted living communities might offer property amenities like:
- Beauty shop services
- Concierge services
- Pet grooming and walking
- Fitness centers
- Extensive grounds with walking paths
- Community gardens
How To Select an Assisted Living Facility
So, what should you search for in an assisted living facility? Ultimately, you want a place that does more than just provide for basic care needs. Rather, you want to move your aging loved ones into an assisted living situation where they feel happy and at home. As such, here are some key questions you should be asking to help you evaluate assisted living facilities:
- What types of apartments are available?
- Do they have transportation for doctor’s appointments?
- Do they have an activities calendar?
- What is the caretaker to resident ratio?
- What type of training is required of the care staff?
- If your loved one has a specific diagnosis (diabetes, early-stage dementia, Parkinson’s, etc.), is the facility equipped to provide appropriate care?
- Are staff onsite 24/7?
- Can staff administer medications?
- Do they have a staff nurse or an in-house physician?
- What type of safety measures do they have in place?
- What type of needs assessments do they require before move-in?
- What is their billing policy?
- What additional services are available if the care or personal needs change while living here?
- What is their payment structure for additional fees for services or activities?
- Can you meet another family with a loved one in the community?
- Does the community offer all the amenities you’re looking for (concierge services, a gym, pool, theater, spa, etc.)?
- Are pets allowed?
During the actual tour, look to see if residents seem to be engaged in social events and taking advantage of community amenities. Watch how staff members interact with residents and if they offer personalized attention. Make sure to examine how well the facility is maintained and ask to sample the food to see how it tastes. Also, walk around the surrounding area to get a feel of the neighborhood. Some assisted living facilities will allow short-term stays (generally called respite care visits), which can be an excellent way for your loved one to determine if they like the services and amenities, staff, community members, and the location of a specific facility.
Researching and touring multiple assisted living facilities near you or your loved one is a huge time commitment and can feel like an overwhelming challenge. Fortunately, you don’t have to manage alone. A local care advisor can provide assistance and guidance throughout the process. For example, going on tours to provide an expert opinion, ensuring that key questions get addressed, helping you figure out financing, etc.
Picking an assisted living facility is an important decision, so keep researching and asking questions until you feel satisfied that you understand all the options and resources available to you. It is also a good idea to visit the appropriate state regulatory agency (usually the health department) to look up the facility and review their survey or inspection reports for issues that could impact your loved one. This will ensure you select a quality assisted living facility that meets your criteria.
Transitioning an Aging Parent or Loved One Into Assisted Living
- Older adults often dread the idea of losing their independence, and they can be unsettled at the thought of moving into an assisted living facility. However, putting off the conversation will only make the process more stressful and difficult for everyone involved. Fortunately, a little planning and honesty can go a long way toward helping to ensure a positive outcome. By talking about assisted living early, your loved one will have a greater feeling of control and can more fully participate in the process of finding the perfect assisted living facility for their care and lifestyle needs.
- Start by openly addressing your concerns about their current situation. You and your loved one must realistically face and talk about their personal care needs and safety. Be candid about how their care requirements impact you and whether you are equipped to ensure their long-term safety and well-being. Don’t try to dance around the issue. Rather, be upfront and speak honestly with empathy and respect.
- Talking with your loved ones about moving into assisted living is a process. It’s not something that can be done in a single conversation. Rather, have an initial conversation to introduce the idea, then wait a few days to allow them to think about it before bringing up the topic again. Make sure to carefully listen to their fears and objections. It is important that they feel they are being heard and have a role in the decision-making process. Maybe they are afraid about not being able to make new friends if they move. Or they’re worried that they’ll be forced into a routine that they don’t like. By taking the time to understand their reactions and concerns, you can find solutions to ensure they receive the care they need while still enjoying a lifestyle that helps them feel happy and fulfilled.
- It is also important that you are prepared to discuss finances, as this is a common objection many seniors have when first considering the idea of moving into assisted living. Sometimes it is a fear of losing control of their finances; other times, it is concern over the potential cost of an assisted living facility. A senior care advisor will be an invaluable ally for this discussion. They will help you assess your loved one’s current financial situation and guide you through “what if” scenarios that may arise and how they may impact your loved one’s ability to pay for long-term care. They can also help you explore potential resources (VA benefits, Medicaid, etc.) that can be used to help finance an assisted living lifestyle.
Above all, keep a positive mindset throughout the entire process and use humor to lighten the situation when appropriate. Your loved one will be more likely to accept, even embrace, the transition into assisted living if it’s presented to them in a realistic but positive way. At the same time, respect that transitioning into assisted living is a major life decision that will influence how they enjoy their golden years.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
According to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national average cost of assisted living is currently around $4,300. However, the cost of a specific assisted living facility can vary depending on many factors, such as its location, property amenities, and the level of care your loved one requires. As such, prices can range anywhere from under $3,000 to over $7,000 a month.
Assisted living can also be a more affordable option than in-home care if more than 24 hours of in-home care is needed, especially when you consider that assisted living residents don’t have to handle expenses like property taxes, utilities, groceries, home maintenance, transportation, etc.
A common misconception many seniors have is that Medicare will help pay for assisted living. However, the services offered by assisted living facilities are classified as “custodial care” — meaning they aren’t medically necessary services performed by licensed nurses. As such, assisted living is usually not covered by Medicare.
That said, under certain circumstances, Medicare will help assisted living residents pay for in-home skilled healthcare services, but there are limitations. Coverage is limited to up to 100 days after the resident is released from hospitalization and must be performed by a licensed nurse, not a home health aide. Moreover, the service must be medically necessary to treat their condition, not just custodial care like assistance with ADLs.
Fortunately, there are other options to help finance assisted living, including VA benefits, home equity loans, life insurance conversions, long-term care insurance, and — depending on the state — Medicaid. An Assisted Living Locators® Care Advisor can provide guidance and resources for your location.
Find Assisted Living Facilities Nearby
Your loved one has agreed that it is time to move into assisted living. You’ve put together a list of services and amenities they want for their new home. Now it’s time to begin looking for the right facility. However, when you search Google for “Assisted living near me,” you might find yourself getting overwhelmed by all the different options. How do you sort through everything to find the perfect assisted living facility for your loved one?
This is where Assisted Living Locators® care advisors come into play. Unlike national placing agents, Assisted Living Locators® are local senior care experts who live and work within your community. They are familiar with the various assisted living facilities in your area and can help guide you through finding the right level of care and relevant financing resources.
Local care advisors are also available if you want to move your loved one to an assisted living facility in a different city or state. They will be able to answer all your questions and help guide you through transitioning your loved one into that new location.
FAQs About Assisted Living Near Me
Assisted living is a form of senior group living where residents receive non-medical support with activities of daily living, social programs, activities, meals, and transportation.
Independent living does not provide assistance with ADLs or 24/7 supervision. Assisted living facilities do.
Memory care provides many of the same services and amenities as assisted living but with an additional level of specialized care and security for seniors dealing with memory loss, dementia, or other cognitive issues.
Assisted living prices can range anywhere from under $3,000 to over $7,000. The national average is around $4,300. An Assisted Living Locators® care advisor can help find assisted living facilities near you that fit your price point for both the short and long term.
Assisted living provides non-medical supervision and custodial care services such as assistance with ADLs such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and assistance with walking or transferring. Assisted living facilities also provide housekeeping, three daily meals and snacks, medication management, transportation, and social activities.
To start, confirm that the facility meets all of your service and amenities requirements, the building and grounds are well-maintained, and that current residents look happy, engaged, and well cared for. A local care advisor can help you with the evaluation process to ensure your loved one is placed in a quality facility that suits their particular lifestyle needs.