If your parents or grandparents are in relatively good health, but it is becoming more challenging for them to live on their own, an assisted living apartment is an ideal solution. However, it is crucial to understand what services different facilities offer and whether or not they are able to meet the unique needs of your family member. 

Assisted living facilities are appropriate for people who only need limited amounts of care and are primarily independent, as opposed to the 24 hour care for complex health concerns available from nursing homes.

What is an Assisted Living Apartment?

It is a good idea to remember that assisted living is an all-encompassing word that includes many different options for older individuals. However, a basic understanding of the concept is that this type of facility makes certain types of assistance with daily activities available to their residents, but residents are not always required to accept assistance. Each state has different laws to follow.  

It is not unusual for a cafeteria to exist within the facility and residents can choose to eat there. Normally, a nutritionist or dietitian is on staff, so people with special food requirements can enjoy a healthy meal.

In addition, because assisted living facilities often offer apartments instead of rooms, your loved one may be able to cook their own meals and do their own grocery shopping. If they no longer drive, transportation may be provided for errands and medical or dental care.

Help with bathing, dressing, laundry, cleaning, etc. is usually included. Typically, residents must be able to provide some of their own care in order to be a candidate for that environment. 

How Safe is the Facility?

One of the biggest fears about aging family members is often the injuries they might sustain while alone. Another would be a dramatic health problem, such as a stroke or heart attack. As a result, many assisted living apartments offer emergency cords that residents can pull in case of a problem and they are often in each room, for maximum benefit.

You may also want to determine whether or not staff members at the facility check on the well-being of their clients, and if so, how often it occurs. This is particularly useful for older people, because if they are not close to the emergency cord when they need it, its presence will not matter.

Each resident is provided with keys to their apartment and guests are usually required to sign in. As a result, each resident has the safety and privacy they deserve.  

What Services Are the Most Important?

If you are a member of the so-called "Sandwich Generation," you probably have more responsibilities than previous generations did. Taking care of a family, working full-time and seeing to the needs of elderly relatives seems almost impossible.

Therefore, you may want to find an assisted living facility that provides transportation to their residents for medical appointments. In addition, planned activities are also common in that setting, so you can enjoy the time you spend with your loved one... instead of simply a maid or chauffeur.

If you're looking for an assisted living center in your area, visit Colonial Residence.