What are the Pros and Cons of Assisted Living?

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The decision to move into a senior housing community is often a difficult one. Seniors today are faced with many decisions in terms of where they will live. Seniors who can benefit from around-the-clock assistance but who are not fully dependent may be a good fit for an assisted living facility, which may be viewed as a step before a nursing home. There are many advantages to assisted living, as well as some drawbacks. This is why it’s important for seniors and family members to have an honest discussion early on about living preferences.

Benefits of Assisted Living

In short, benefits of assisted living include:

  • Assistance with daily living activities like bathing, dressing, and eating
  • Adapts to changing needs
  • No need to maintain a home
  • Greater privacy and a home-like setting
  • Opportunity to socialize with scheduled activities
  • Lower cost than a nursing home

One of the greatest benefits to the assisted living environment is it allows seniors who have early dementia or physical challenges to live a fairly independent life. The facility has on-site medical care, but the care is not ever-present. Assisted living offers a level of care that is appropriate for seniors who do not need the full-time attention of a nursing home but need assistance with meals, transportation, medication, and daily activities like bathing and dressing.

Because an older adult’s health situation can change quickly, assisted living offers the benefit of a flexible living arrangement that can quickly adapt to changing needs.

Assisted living communities are full of vibrant and active seniors who can manage most of their routines without help. This type of facility offers a more home-like setting with personal freedom and privacy that many seniors appreciate. Seniors no longer need to worry about routine home maintenance like yard work that can become a challenge.

While assisted living offers greater control and privacy for residents, it also offers the opportunity to socialize. Many older adults feel lonely and isolated living at home. Assisted living facilities offer the chance to socialize daily with other adults as well as a variety of scheduled programs, including dancing, crafts, exercise, and outings.

Assisted living typically has a lower monthly cost than a nursing home as continuous medical care is not provided. There are also some forms of financial assistance available through long-term insurance and veteran’s programs.

Downsides of Assisted Living

Downsides of assisted living include:

  • Can be cost-prohibitive
  • Some seniors have trouble adjusting to a group setting with policies
  • Does not offer the level of care for moderate dementia and some medical conditions

An assisted living facility will not have extensive medical care on the premises as a nursing home would. Seniors who require specialized or intensive medical care, as well as those with moderate dementia or Alzheimer’s, may need a higher level of care than an assisted living facility can provide.

Many seniors also prefer to stay in their home, and they may have trouble adjusting to a group setting. Some facilities offer semi-private rooms, and living with a roommate may be a challenge. There may also be rules in place, such as pet policies or smoking bans, that make it hard to adjust.

Cost is a major drawback for many seniors. Medicare does not cover the costs of an assisted living facility. In addition to a monthly charge, personal care is typically treated as an add-on charge.

Assisted living provides a safe and secure environment for seniors, but it is not the best choice for everyone. Choosing between assisted living and other senior living options requires considering long-term health care needs as well as the preferences of the senior.

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About Senior Path:
We are a professional, senior housing advisory service which provides personal attention to Seniors and their families. We employ a staff of talented, caring Advisors who have vast experience helping Seniors and their families through this transition. Our Advisors have extensive backgrounds in the Senior Care industry enabling them to understand what Seniors want and need.