The atmosphere and amenities offered in assisted living facilities varies widely from one community to the next. The notion of assisted living as an “old folks home” is outdated and largely inaccurate.
Today's living arrangements for older adults reflect the interests and personalities of their inhabitants. Niche assisted living communities exist to cater to the cultural backgrounds, aesthetic sensibilities, and preferred lifestyles of residents.
The Range of Amenities
The concept behind assisted living is to ensure that a person's quality of life can be maintained for as long as possible in a comfortable, safe environment.
This basic belief in honoring the lives of community residents largely explains the variety of options available for assisted living. From very simple, straightforward floor plans and bare-bones amenities for those who prefer a simple life to extravagant resort-like living for those with a taste for the finer things, there is something for everyone.
The Common Denominators in the Best Assisted Living Facilities
Regardless of the level of amenities offered, the best assisted living communities share some common traits:
1) They provide intuitive, individualized care to residents.
One of the primary goals of moving a loved one to assisted living is ensuring that he or she will have access to kind, compassionate care regardless of what level of assistance is needed. The best communities guarantee this care by a good resident-to-staff ratio and an individualized plan for each resident which is adjusted at regular intervals as life circumstances change. Some states require minimum staffing levels, while others require that facilities staff according to the needs of the residents.
2) They are clean and safe for residents.
Cleanliness in an assisted living environment is non-negotiable. To protect the health and safety of all residents, the best assisted living communities invest in property maintenance, a quick-to-respond janitorial staff, and staff members who give meticulous care to their own personal hygiene as well as the grooming and hygiene of residents.
3) They are designed to feel like home.
For many of the residents of assisted living communities, the move from home is one of the most traumatic events of their later years. Great communities lessen that trauma by creating a home-like atmosphere to make residents feel more at ease.
Cheerfully decorated and comfortably appointed living areas ease the transition for residents. Additionally, common areas that are inviting such as libraries, game rooms, and dining areas make assisted living communities feel like pleasant neighborhoods.
4) They welcome family and friends.
Understanding that family and friends play a vital role in resident emotional well-being, great assisted living communities welcome visitors. From scheduled activities to which family members are specifically invited to impromptu visits, good communities encourage positive family interaction.
5) They allow residents to pursue things that feed their soul.
From social clubs to individual yard space for the avid gardener, the best assisted living communities offer opportunities for older adults to pursue their passions.
Continuing education classes, exercise classes, arts and crafts, transportation to local cultural events, and backyard barbecues are all things that you might see in a great assisted living community.
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The variety of options for assisted living is virtually limitless, and as Baby Boomers enter their retirement years, that trend is likely to continue. As you contemplate the options available, be sure to check out our additional information about senior housing for great tips to aid your search.