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Assisted Living Facility – Step 1
Author Name: Rimme Wiker
Date added: January 24, 2011 01:02:49 PM
Category: Health

As our modern era encourages far-flung 'nuclear families', the elderly are often left alone without any relatives to help them in the course of their daily lives. While they may still be physically capable of attending to most of their own needs, at some point, the time may come when living alone is impractical, if not dangerous. An intermediary situation between a private residence and a nursing home is an assisted living facility (ALF). In choosing the right one, there are many things to consider. For starters, you must first learn what your resident state says in terms of the law. Not all states share the same definitions, nor share similar regulations. Only about half of the states license assisted living facilities. So right there, making a move from a private residence to an ALF, one may need to consider moving to another state. Most ALF housing is semi-private, as it is more affordable and offers companionship. Many are private, one-bedroom apartments with a kitchen, bathroom and a living room. Some of this type are run more like hotels, providing daily cleaning and other services. Others are multi-bedroom apartments or similar to townhouses or bungalows. These usually house around three residents, offering companionship and shared expenses and chores. For those with moderate medical conditions, a decent ALF should provide access to medical assistance. Usually in the form of a 24-hour hotline for a nurse. Many hospitals, especially larger ones, have both a nursing home and an ALF on or near their campus. A popular one here in the Detroit area is St. Johns Hospital, which typically does just this. Patients often transition from a hospital after a medical event, to a nursing home for a period of rehabilitation, and then to an ALF for long-term or permanent housing. In selecting an ALF, definitely tour the facility before hand. Take note of handicap access. Are the rooms laid out for easy usage of wheelchairs or walkers? Are bathrooms equipped with handrails or even walk-in bathtubs? How easy are the beds to get in and out of? Other considerations include availability of delivered groceries. Are hot, prepared meals available? Shuttle service?. Recreation and social services are also important factors to discover. Does the ALF have a recreation center? Beauty parlor? Swimming pool? Are there daily events like bingo, card games, and parties? Proximity to stores and needed outside services is also important, like lawyers, eye doctors and other specialists. The maintenance and security staff of an assisted living facility are also important considerations. How easy is it to enter if a non-resident? If something needs to be repaired, how quickly and by whom? What other arrangements will the resident need to make that the ALF does not provide services for? If the resident still owns an automobile, is there a secure parking lot for it? How about the protocols for the delivery of mail or items via UPS or other private companies? These among the major considerations one must take into account when selecting an assisted living facility. Naturally, the cost is also an important factor. But an ALF tends to be much less expensive than a nursing home. Especially if you have no need for constant medical attention or equipment and wish to enjoy a higher degree of independence, than an assisted living facility is the better option for those in need of some degree of elder care. The choices are many, particularly in major urban areas. States governments that require licensing keep records of these facilities, so you may learn how efficiently they are run. There are records available from your state if they have a history of demerits and problems. Many can access this information on line or with a simple phone call when inquiring about a particular assisted living facility. As many will have a backlog or a waiting period for a vacancy, it is best to begin doing your homework as early as possible. Typically, it can take up to six months before being able to move in. So don’t delay and start today!

As our modern era encourages far-flung 'nuclear families', the elderly are often left alone without any relatives to help them in the course of their daily lives.

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