If you are considering a transition to assisted living for yourself, a parent or someone you know, it’s important to understand what to expect from this level of care before becoming a resident:
How much help is needed now? An individual’s abilities to manage ADLs, the activities of daily living, and IADLs, instrumental activities of daily living, will determine the hours of care necessary in assisted living. ADLs include bathing, dressing, transferring (i.e. from a bed to wheelchair/walker, or from a walker/wheelchair to the toilet or shower), grooming, eating, and using the bathroom. IADLs include scheduling doctor’s appointments, paying bills, doing laundry, and other tasks that are vital for successful living but do not necessarily require daily upkeep like the ADLs.
How much care may be needed in the future?
Assisted living communities price their care services, meals and housing differently, but most will charge extra (a la carte) for any services or care hours that go above and beyond what is covered in a base package. That being said, the true monthly cost of care may not look anything like the initial estimate, especially if your older relative need more assistance as time goes on.
Is a nurse be on-duty should a medical issue arise?
Most communities only have one nurse and several nurse’s aides (sometimes called personal care assistants, or PCAs) on duty at a time. PCAs are not generally trained to provide skilled medical care, so if you feel that your family member needs more specialized attention, assisted living may not be the best setting.