Assisted living facilities, also called residential care facilities, offer residents a place where they can receive basic assistance in one or more of the following areas: housekeeping, meal preparation, 24-7 monitoring, shower assistance, toileting, medication assistance or reminders, transportation, eating, dressing, activities, or socialization. The primary difference between residential care and assisted living is that residents of residential care facilities mus be able to get to a place of safety independently in the event of an emergency.
In assisted living, residents will likely have their own apartment, unless one consents to sharing a room with someone. A private bathroom is most often in the apartment to allow for privacy and dignity. Most apartments will have a kitchenette with a sink, microwave, refrigerator, and cupboard space. Each apartment will likely be climate controlled individually. There are common spaces for all residents to enjoy including a TV room, an activity room, dining room, library, and communal sitting areas.
Assisted living facilities are designed for people who need help with complex activities of daily living (ADL) on a daily basis. Basic ADLs include eating, bathing, dressing, and hygiene. More complex ADLs include cooking, shopping and money management. Assisted living aims to be the mid- point between independent living and long-term care.
Most assisted living facilities have a dining room decorated like a restaurant as well as a variety of activities. Special diets are accommodated and some facilities offer a choice of menu selections. Most assisted living facilities are not licensed to administer IVs, requiring patients who need IVs to temporarily relocate to a skilled nursing facility.
Residential care and assisted living communities help many individuals overcome the feeling of lonliness and isolation by offering residents the opportunity to make new friends, develop new interests, and discover and experience what is most important at this stage of your life.