Have you recently assumed the role of a caregiver for an elderly loved one? Maybe this role has been thrust upon you by unforeseen circumstances or is the result of the natural aging process of those dearest to you. Regardless of how you got here, we understand the weight it carries. As a caregiver, navigating the world of assisted living facilities as a care option can be overwhelming and the questions may seem endless. You may not even know where to start or turn to for help. We’re here to provide you with practical information to help guide you through this journey and offer insight on what to expect or where to turn for the support you and your loved ones need.
Starting My Journey
I need help caring for a loved one and I don’t know where to start.
You are not alone. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, 17.7 million people in the United States are family caregivers. Whether your loved one needs post-acute care, memory care or general assistance with activities of daily living, there are many senior care options for you to explore. Understanding your senior care options is essential to ensuring your loved one receives the care they need.
What are assisted living facilities?
Assisted living provides 24/7 care for individuals who are unable or choose not to live independently, whether due to physical limitations, disabilities or health conditions. Residents typically live in private apartments and connect over shared meals in cozy dining halls, participate in social activities like movie nights or arts & crafts, and find companionship through clubs and outings.
How do I know if assisted living is right for my loved one?
We all want the best for the people we love, even when it feels tough. Determining when it’s time for your loved one to move into an assisted living is a significant decision that comes from a place of compassion and care. Look out for signs of decreased mobility, frequent falls, personality changes and memory issues. You can read more about the signs to watch in our guide on knowing when it’s time for assisted living.
Paying for Assisted Living
How much does assisted living cost?
Assisted living facilities exist at a range of price points. Pricing is often determined by several factors, such as location, accommodation types, amenities, clinical service offerings and more. It’s important to research various facilities, compare their offerings, and assess which factors are most important for your loved one. From there, you can make a financial plan to prepare for the costs of assisted living. Our guide to financial planning for assisted living is here to help.
Does Medicare/Medicaid cover assisted living costs?
While Medicare and Medicaid will generally cover patients who need sub-acute/post-hospital care, they typically do not cover assisted living. All CareOne locations accept long-term care insurance, which can help pay for all or a portion of long-term care services and assisted living. There are many other financial considerations for senior care to keep in mind, as well.
What is the difference between assisted living and a nursing home?
It’s not at all uncommon to use the terms “assisted living” and “nursing home” interchangeably, though they differ in many ways. Nursing homes are facilities that provide long-term medical care for seniors with serious health issues. Their primary purpose is to help residents manage their chronic health conditions. Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, offer assistance with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing and walking. They also provide a range of amenities and entertainment to make room for social opportunities and encourage engagement. This community environment combats loneliness and fosters a supportive network of peers.
How often can I visit my loved one in an assisted living facility?
You can visit your loved ones as often as you’d like. Visiting hours may vary by location; however, there is no limit to the number of visits you can make.
What will my loved one be doing all day in assisted living?
Assisted living facilities are designed to keep residents active and engaged, but what that looks like exactly will depend on the community. As you evaluate locations, we recommend getting a sample schedule and visiting in person to experience what daily life is like firsthand.
CareOne’s activities programming caters to a wide range of interests, from live musical performances to movie nights, arts and crafts classes, and even field trips. We also offer numerous amenities, including fitness centers, on-site movie theaters, beauty salons, ice cream parlors and more for residents to enjoy at their leisure. Rather than creating a rigid schedule, we believe in the power of choice so residents can feel autonomous in a safe and supportive environment. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to see the fun activities we plan for our residents all year round!
How can I ensure my loved one is safe when they are in their rooms alone at night?
Any assisted living facility you explore should be forthcoming about their safety protocols and procedures. At CareOne, we conduct frequent overnight checks to ensure each resident is safe and their needs are met.
What is food like at an assisted living facility?
A proper diet is particularly important for seniors, as it keeps their energy levels up and helps their bodies protect against and recover from different types of illnesses. At CareOne, we believe that food should bring joy and sustenance in equal measure — and our culinary program is designed to do just that. We strive to create meals that cater to each resident’s specific dietary requirements while also paying strong attention to detail in food presentation. Check out a sample assisted living food menu from CareOne.
Do all assisted living facilities offer memory care?
Not every assisted living will offer memory care. CareOne’s Harmony Village properties offer dedicated memory care services for those living with Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia and other types of dementia and memory loss. Our unique, patient-centered approach ensures residents receive the care they need, and our compassionate staff are committed to creating a home-like environment. Harmony Village helps residents maintain optimal cognitive and physical functioning while also maximizing their independence.
Will I still have to take my loved ones to their doctor’s appointments?
Most assisted living facilities will have visiting primary care physicians who can provide care for your loved ones, but you will still have the option to take them to their doctor if you prefer. At CareOne, every assisted living facility has primary care physicians who make rounds to tend to residents.
Which specialty physicians are available to care for my loved one at an assisted living?
Visiting specialty physicians include geriatricians, internists, cardiologists, podiatrists, and dentists; however, they vary depending on the location. At CareOne, some communities have more specialists than others. We encourage you to reach out to us for more information or ask when touring a building.
Transitioning to Assisted Living
My loved one currently lives in a house. How can we make the transition to a residential assisted living apartment easier for them?
Downsizing your loved one’s living space, as well as their possessions, can be a challenging transition. To help them adjust to these changes, you should handle the transition extremely delicately. Make changes gradually. It’s also important that your loved ones are able to keep items of sentimental value as well as things that remind them of the comforts of their previous home. Overall, less is more.
Am I a bad person for considering assisted living?
Absolutely not. Feelings like guilt and anxiety are completely normal for caregivers as they think about moving their loved one into an assisted living facility. This is not a decision made lightly. It does not mean you’re inadequate as a caregiver or that you failed. You’re exploring this route because you want what’s best for your family. Find comfort in knowing that you’re choosing to put your loved one’s care in the hands of those specially trained for these situations to give them the highest quality of life. Wanting to see them happy, healthy and safe underscores just how much you truly care about them. While the initial transition may be hard, in the right assisted living community, your loved one will flourish.
Will my loved one resent me?
Moving is a huge life change that can be filled with stress, and transitioning a loved one into an assisted living facility is no different. Know that it may take them time to adjust to a new environment and community. Give your loved one grace as they process this change. Lastly, remind them that you aren’t going anywhere. You will still be an integral part of their care — and life.
Taking the Next Step
I’ve read all the above. Now what?
Now that you understand the fundamentals of assisted living, it’s time to find the right CareOne assisted living community for your loved one. Find a location near you, schedule a tour or speak with someone today via our chat feature or by calling 855-277-8550.