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Assisted Living: What Caregivers need to Know

complaining caregivers

Considering Assisted Living

Caregiving involves important and sometimes difficult choices. When a patient cannot live independently along any longer, family and friends wonder what is next. Does the patient need to be in a nursing home, or is there some other kind of facility that would be a better fit?       An assisted living facility (ALF) might be a better choice for the patient.

Since the 1970’s, assisted living facilities have spread across the nation providing an intermediate alternative for patients.   A nursing home provides skilled nursing and medical care or therapy for a short- or long- term period.  However, an assisted living facility is a step- up in care for an elder who is  living alone and independently.  An ALF can provide care such as assistance in personal care, housekeeping, meals, and transportation to a patient, who does not need daily medical care and therapy.

Caregiver Considerations

It is time to reconsider the living situation of a family member or patient:

  • when he struggles with or neglects dressing, bathing, or taking medicine.
  • when her living quarters are dirty or unsanitary.
  • when the patient has suffered several falls, injuries or preventable accidents.
  • When the family member is isolated from others, or  is choosing to isolate themselves.
  • when the patient is forgetful, and is risking harm to himself.

 Choices in Assisted Living

An assisted living facility costs less than a nursing home, but more than independent living or living with a caregiver.  Assisted living facilities vary greatly in size, services and cost.   A family member or caregiver should consider budget, services, the level of care the patient needs, and the preferences of the patient.  Most assisted living centers provide meals, housekeeping, and transportation. Some are residential homes with just a few residents; others are large centers offering recreation, various sizes of quarters, and a variety of services.

How to choose an Assisted Living Facility near You

How can a family member or caregiver know how to choose an assisted living facility?  Fortunately, the Assisted Living Research Institute, ( ) a non-profit organization, has gathered data on thousands of assisted living facilities across the U.S.  Their website offers you a free goldmine of information on every aspect of assisted living facilities.   Go to the page  to see a nationwide directory of assisted living facilities. You can find information about facilities in your area, by city and state in their free Directory.  Check out the financing options, types of facilities, and laws and regulations for each state there.  The website  is an invaluable resource to help you make informed decisions.

Whatever you and your loved one choose for a living situation, stay happy, stay healthy, and stay hopeful!


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