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What Does Assisted Living Really Mean_ATN

The senior living industry is always evolving and changing to meet the needs of a growing aging population. These extra options benefit older adults and their loved ones, but too many choices can sometimes feel overwhelming for people just starting their search for senior living communities. You can make the best decision for your situation when you know the basic facts.

Levels of Care

Each senior living community offers the lifestyle and assistance its residents need, but those needs are unique for each community. For example, some older adults need a great deal of assistance or medical oversight, and others may need very little help. Senior care communities typically specialize in one or two specific levels of care and focus on meeting the needs of those residents.

There are four general levels of care in the senior living industry: independent living, assisted living, dementia care, and skilled nursing.

  • Independent living is for seniors who require a very low level of supervision and care oversight. These seniors enjoy an independent lifestyle that includes friendly neighbors, housekeeping services, and easy access to transportation services within a vibrant community setting that is not closely monitored by care staff.  
  • Assisted living encourages residents to be as independent as possible, but there are also staff and resources available at all times to give a helping hand. Seniors who live in assisted living enjoy privacy in their apartments but are also able to participate in activities with fellow residents.  
  • Dementia care is designed to meet the complex needs of seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. These care communities typically exist as specialized areas within assisted living communities. Residents are cared for by staff members who are specially trained for dementia care interventions, and their living environment ensures a high level of safety and comfort.
  • Skilled nursing care is designed for those living with complex medical conditions. These communities provide excellent medical care around the clock for short- or long-term stays, and residents enjoy activities, nutritious meals, and access to nursing staff.

Candidates for Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are excellent options for a number of older adults. If you are wondering if assisted living could be a good option for you or your loved one, here are a few characteristics of someone who could be a good fit for assisted living.

  • They don’t want the responsibility of household chores for their home. Assisted living gives residents a lovely apartment without the responsibilities. Housekeeping, maintenance, and other chores are included in the assisted living lifestyle.
  • They worry about safety at home, especially while alone. Residents living in assisted living communities can sleep better at night knowing help from a friendly staff member is only moments away.
  • They live with pain or other chronic medical conditions. Assisted living provides medication management and access to nursing staff who can help keep chronic conditions under control.
  • They feel lonely sometimes or miss regular interaction with people. Thanks to a full calendar of engaging activities and events, residents in assisted living communities can make new friends and try new things whenever they feel like it.
  • They have trouble preparing meals daily. Assisted living residents don’t have to worry about preparing their own healthy meals three times per day. Chef-prepared meals are served in a social dining room setting, giving residents the chance to enjoy a delicious meal with friends.
  • They need some extra help with tasks throughout the day. Caregivers are ready to lend a helping hand with tasks in an assisted living environment, including bathing or showering, dressing, and walking.

When to Start Looking for Assisted Living

Ideally, you should start your search for an assisted living community before there is a crisis. Events such as a fall or hospitalization can spur family members into looking for assisted living help, but it can be hard to make a decision based on a reactionary search after one of these events. Instead, start your search by finding communities in your desired location or neighborhood. Then, find other people who may have had experience with particular assisted living communities and learn from them. Have specific needs you aren’t sure will be appropriate for assisted living? Talk to the staff about levels of care given within their community.

Assisted Living at Arbor Terrace Naperville

Not all assisted living communities are created equal. A truly exceptional assisted living community is beautiful, offers easy access to amenities, gives residents the chance to participate in engaging activities, and serves nutritional meals in a social dining room setting. At Arbor Terrace Naperville, we believe in giving residents individualized care that increases their quality of life and creates meaningful moments. Our assisted living community is designed to empower our residents to live fully and confidently thanks to extra help from our expert staff.

Come see what makes Arbor Terrace Naperville different than the other communities throughout the Chicagoland area. Schedule your tour with our team today.

Renee Rzeszutko

About the Author: Renee Rzeszutko

Renee has worked for more than the last decade directly serving the senior population. Known for her open door policies and "I work for you" attitude, she is always available to residents, family members, and staff. Whether you have a question or concern or just need to chat, she will greet you will a warm smile and a compassionate heart. Renee makes her home in Huntley and enjoys spending time with her husband and college-aged children.

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