From September 10-16, 2017, the National Center for Assisted Living’s National Assisted Living Week® occurred. The week has occurred annually since 1995, and was initially established to raise awareness of the work that assisted living facilities do in caring for senior citizens and patients with disabilities. Today, during the annual week assisted living facilities are encouraged to help educate the public about the work they do and host events and activities for their residents.
In honor of the annual week, we’d like to take some time to go over some of the most prevalent myths and misconceptions about the assisted living sector. It has been estimated that over 800,000 people live in assisted living facilities across the nation, and in spite of the NCAL’s efforts, many people are still unaware of what it is assisted living facilities do and how they work with their residents.
One of the most common myths surrounding assisted living is that residents of the facilities are completely dependent on the staff and have little freedom. This is not true. While assisted living facilities are designed to make sure that their residents are safe, residents are free to come and go as they please as long as they are not doing anything that could be dangerous. Many facilities allow their residents to live in private living spaces with almost full control over what they do there. Some facilities do prohibit items such as microwaves and toasters in private apartments, but they offer a variety of activities and opportunities for their residents, with the added bonus of having trained professionals available to assist the residents with anything they need in their daily lives.
Another misconception is that assisted living is comparable to hospice care. Many people are under the impression that assisted living facilities are strictly for people with severe and terminal health conditions, but that is not the case at all. Assisted living facilities are designed to help people maintain a normal and healthy quality of life in spite of any health conditions they may have. In most cases, people who have suffered major life changes through events like strokes or falls will have trouble being admitted to assisted living facilities, as most facilities require residents to be independent to an extent.
Quite possibly the most important thing to note about assisted living facilities is that they are not all created equal. Individual facilities have their own policies, requirements, staff, and procedures, and it is important for potential residents and their families to thoroughly inspect facilities. Not all facilities have 24/7 staffs of licensed nurses – some facilities are staffed by CNAs, and not all facilities can provide round-the-clock services. In addition, facilities offer different services tailored to residents with different needs; some facilities work primarily with residents with physical disabilities, while others may be tailored more towards Alzheimer’s, dementia, and mental illness. No two facilities are the same, and whether you are concerned about staffing, pricing, or quality of life, there is no way to generalize an assisted living facility.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan has an established footprint in insuring assisted living facilities throughout the country and is available to assist you in securing a customized program for your insureds. Just give us a call at 317.575.4440.