Assist the Living

It aims to improve the quality of their patients’ lives. This is a place where people with disabilities get the best possible care as they recuperate. This is where they continue living as normal people until they are completely healed.

They call this place, Assisted Living Centers (ALCs). There are so many assisted living centers in the country. These facilities provide patients with health care services, while monitoring their daily activities.  These centers are out to ensure safety and well-being to their patients.

ALCs understand that the best way to deal with sickness is to provide a home atmosphere. Their patients, who have disabilities in themselves, would recover fast with them. They provide personal care with a feel of home, assisting them even as they mend their illnesses. Assisted living centers started its boom in the 90s. It’s an offshoot of the eldercare institutions that provide medical attention to the old. But with a difference. ALCs do not function like that of a retirement home.

Other assisted living centers do look like homes in themselves, not just the atmosphere. At times these living centers tend to feel like an apartment to these patients. It was born out of the idea that personal care and providing home-like services are perfect medical amenities in themselves.

Patients can also choose his or her own doctor in an ALC. Unlike in other facilities where patients have limited access, but with assisted living centers, they have the freedom to choose.

ALCs generally cater to those patients with disabilities. This is the reason why others have built larger bathrooms, kitchens with wheelchairs in it, rooms are wider, and hallways even have support railing.

Most assisted living centers conduct their businesses with providing constant medical upkeep as their main goal. And they align their services with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

The Assisted Living Facility

As your parent or loved one get old, it becomes undeniably difficult to care for them knowing that you already have your own family to take care also. You might be considering getting help at home from professional health care providers. However, this might be a very expensive option for you. Another option will be bringing them to assisted living centers.

There are many assisted living facilities in the United States who provides the best geriatric nursing care. Most of these institutions have employed professionals like practical nurses and registered nurses. It is an advantage for old people who have no one to take care of them full time. Assisted living centers guarantee that your loved ones will be taken care of.

It may be a very stressful experience to place your parent or loved ones in a home care facility. This will sometimes put you in a dilemma whether or not it is the best decision. However, before choosing the right assisted living facility for you, check on your options:

Choosing the right assisted living center for you.

There are many assisted living facilities in the United States. It is important to consider the facilities that are nearest you. Your loved ones will appreciate it more if you can still find the time to visit them. It is best that you choose a facility that will be accessible to you.

Another important matter to consider is the facility of the institution. Knowing that the center has facilities to provide the care that your loved ones need will certainly give you the assurance that they are in good hands.

Above all, and the most important matter to consider are the people who work in the nursing home facility. You will feel more at ease and worry-free when you know that the people who you trusted your loved one to, gives them the best care that they need. Choose an assisted living center that gives a certain atmosphere that is comfortable, friendly, and caring. Look at the staff of these centers and try to evaluate if you can confidently entrust your loved one to them.

Regulating Assisted Living Centers

Assisted living centers are a type of assisted living facility which offers care services for eleven or more people. They have bigger facilities and equipped with basic medical equipments as well as with regular nurses or staff that will assist the patients. The purpose of these living centers is to offer personalized and patient-centered care which will focus on the needs and preferences of an individual. Though these centers have medical staff that will monitor and support the patients, they encourage the family members to be involved.

assisted living centerOne of the basic needs of any individual is emotional connection which requires a family member’s presence. However, not all assisted living centers have been good with their services. There are many complaints from the residents and the family members. There are those who neglect some needs of the seniors like assistance in going to the bathroom, certain type of food or grooming. To ensure the compliance and to investigate complaints, an inspection is conducted once or twice a year. The Office of the Assisted Living Licensing monitors and regulates all assisted living centers all throughout the country.

The monitoring is usually unannounced to make sure that what they see during the visit is not a result of any preparation. The office can cancel licenses or penalized depending on the result of their investigation. By doing this, they are able to regulate the quality of performance of the assisted living centers. They also keep records and files regarding these centers which are open for public viewing. If you are looking for a good assisted living center for your loved one, you can access the files and ask for guidance and advice. Regulations will help improve the quality and the condition of the residents, but regular and constant evaluation will avoid mistreatment and bad practices of the assisted living centers.

The Regulations and Licensing on Assisted Living Facilities

The regulation of assisted living facilities in the U.S. differs from state to state. The Assisted Living Federation of America or the ALFA is the biggest national association fully dedicated to professionally manage the senior living communities in every state and the seniors and families they assist. It is the job of the ALFA to educate assisted living communities about the regulations and licensing requirements mandated by the state where they are located. They do some monitoring of each assisted living facilities and make sure that they submit the requirements needed for licensing and that the services they offer are high quality.

Kemper HouseAs mentioned above, the regulations differ from state to state, so it is highly recommended to review the regulation created by your state for assisted living facilities in your area before choosing. It will guide you in your decision by knowing if the facility is following the regulations or not. The ALFA updates their records about the assisted living facilities they had monitored. They also look at the laws and regulations, significant legislation and the proposed regulations by a specific state. They will also get the basic information such as: elder abuse reporting contacts, important news by the state and information about the local government.

When there is an alteration to the state legislation or the state regulation, it will be posted by ALFA online to inform the seniors and their family. It is necessary because a certain regulation might have a direct or indirect effect on the type and quality of service a certain facility will offer. The regulations on the assisted living facilities will help maintain the quality of the services they offer and will ensure that the elderlies are properly taken care of inside the facility.


Assisted Living Community

There are a lot of assisted living community out there which caters different types of patients like elderly, disabled, chronically ill, and less independent residents. They usually hire a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) or Resident Assistant which assist in activities of daily living (ADLs) which comprise using the toilet, bathing and washing, dressing, cooking and serving food. They also make sure that the recreational and other activities of the patient are also catered.

The fastest growing sector in the health care profession is the health and personal care aides. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the personal care aide jobs will grow by a huge leap of 70.5 percent until 2020. The professional caregivers and personal care aides don’t necessarily require  experience or medical skills. They have flexible part-time and full-time schedules. There will be a comprehensive training that will be provided by the community or company.


There are different resident assistants in assisted living facilities. They are classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as home health and personal care aides. In 2012, the average salary for personal care aides was $20,820 per year. The Nursing aides made $25,620, medical assistants have $30,550 and physical therapist assistants earned $52,320. The top paying cities for personal care aides work in metropolitan areas of Taunton, Mass., Binghamton, N.Y., and Haverhill and N. Andover, Mass, Ocean City, N.J. area and Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The pay is small but the anticipated level of education is low too. The Personal care aides working in assisted living only need high school diploma. Several facilities necessitate post-secondary education in care giving skills. Most may require extra training and offer on-the-job training.

The Personal care aide workload is physically challenging. The profession requires the PCA to perform a number of physical tasks, like lifting, and transporting residents. So it needs a physically fit person to be a PCA. The patient must also have a huge patience specially when dealing with older adults that usually have tantrums and mood swings.

The PCA must also help clients with mobility limits to get out of bed, bathe, dress, and groom. Provide basic health services like recording pulse rate, temperature, and respiration rate. They must also conduct the required exercises. Assist with medications administration and provide light housekeeping.

In a survey conducted in 2010 in all Residential Care Facilities spearheaded by Center for Disease Control found that 82% of personal care aides perform housekeeping duties in addition to helping with activities of daily living like dressing and assistance with medications.


Being Active in Assisted Living Centers

A long time ago, an excursion to the doctor’s office for a senior housing resident in a wheelchair was frequently the only connection they had to the outside world. That was yesterday. Today’s message is that individuals living in assisted living centers and retirement groups can and do stay extremely active. Handouts and sites for elder care offices now promote their capacity to give transportation to hair stylists, shopping plazas, religious services, trips and numerous other every day exercises, even on short notice. Sufficient transportation empowers elderly inhabitants to live all the more autonomously and prevent feelings of disconnection. Hence, focuses are changing the way they manage and organize outside activities, giving occupants more decisions on what they might want to do regularly.

What separates one office from an alternate in helping active senior lifestyles can frequently be found outside the focal point, primed to take a gathering of seniors out and about. It’s the various minibuses and wheelchair-available vans, in numerous shapes and sizes that give this valuable service. Assisted living centers with a sufficient armada of shuttle transports and wheelchair vans are discovering that their vehicles are a noticeable difference. Families that help with assessing assisted living centers regularly look to transportation benefits as an indicator of whether their parent or grandparent is going to have the capacity to keep enjoying the activities they’re accustomed to.

assisted_living_centersFrom a marketing point of view, shuttle transports are moving billboards that give consistent, visual commercials of the senior living center to the community. For operational and restorative purposes, they are basic to the administrations being given. While numerous offices contract for medical ambulatory type outings, the flow and significance to client fulfillment in getting inhabitants to outside exercises has changed how associations see their transport limit. By expanding their transportation proficiencies and advertising offer with more movement alternatives, an office has a greater shot of keeping their units filled.

Focuses today can have a few multi-passenger vehicles out and about at any given time, transporting one or twelve inhabitants to and from different destinations. Almost all of these transport vehicles have a wheelchair lift and space for wheelchair travelers, a fundamental characteristic in giving versatility and opportunity to numerous occupants. A few vehicles can fit a few wheelchairs, while others can just fit one or two at once. All wheelchair vans have special tie-down frameworks set up for keeping wheelchairs set up and for traveler security.

Assisted Living Centers Reform Bill

AB 1554 would force Community Care Licensing to begin investigation of problems including abuse, neglect, or serious harm to assisted living centers residents within 24 hours and to complete this most important investigation within 30 days. Assembly member Nancy Skinner’s regulation to change the state’s defective program used to examine problems of neglect and abuse within California’s 7,500 mature care homes was approved this week by the Set up Human Services Panel on a single, bipartisan elect.

assisted_living_centersResponding to the scandal at Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley, where 19 senior citizens were abandoned by the home care owner and reports stating problems in management and administration regarding California’s residential care features for the seniors, Skinner introduced AB 1554 to enhance the investigation and complaint procedure. The bill is part of a package of changes subsidized by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.  “No longer will problems of abuse and neglect be taken under the rug. The terrible occurrence at the Castro Valley care service was avoidable,” Skinner, of Berkeley, said. “We know now that more powerful measures are needed to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable.”

Media reviews have exposed problems in the Community Care Licensing (CCL) issue investigation program exposing a design of superficial investigation, poor interaction with complainants and weak administration. At the hearing, Eric Boice, of Colfax, recounted how the issue and investigation procedure failed his mom, a former primary school instructor clinically identified as having Alzheimer’s. Boice said his mom passed away in 2009 as a result of the abuse and neglect she received while at an assisted living service in Auburn, California. “The investigation procedure was a joke,” Boice said. “We had proof and content information supporting our claims of abuse, yet the state organization did not demand any more information nor did they get in touch with our lawyer. My family’s experience is a sad commentary on our region’s capability to secure residents in assisted living centers.”

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Dilemma

For family members across Kansas and Missouri, struggling to choose the right service to take care of an aging beloved with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, an important aspect of the decision is understanding the differences between nursing homes and assisted living. It is a dilemma Mitzi McFatrich deals with every day as the executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, a non-profit advocacy organization assisting elderly care service residents and or their family members. “There are so many of us that are aging and a large number of those individuals are going to have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” she said. “How are we going to fulfill their care needs?”

nursing_homesPeople often mix up nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but the two are not exactly the same. A nursing home provides health care to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients, with RNs on-site eight hours a day. In Missouri and Kansas, assisted living facilities employ RNs on a limited basis. Because assisted living facilities receive health insurance funding, there are strict state and government regulations on staff training, the number of employees required per shift and the level of cleanliness. There is zero government oversight for assisted living centers; very few state rules. Medicare often pays most of a patient’s elderly care service bill. In assisted living facilities, a resident’s family must shoulder the whole cost.

While a nursing home service agrees to become a permanent residence for individuals no matter their disease, a person who’s Alzheimer’s disease or dementia worsens can be discharged from an assisted living service. The director of education, programs and public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association, Heart of America chapter, Michelle Niedens says these care facilities can evict a resident in as little as 30 days. “There’s often an over promising; ‘We can handle your mom and dad, through the whole disease course,’ that is, until some major bump occurs and then the game gets changed,” Niedens said. According to McFatrich, facilities will say, “We can no longer fulfill this person’s needs. And that’s what they use in order to release someone.” That release or eviction can affect a family’s ability to find their loved one a new house.

Long Term Senior Care Costs

It’s hard to predict the future. But it’s not a huge shock to learn that long-term care expenses are increasing. This has been a continuous pattern, however, as the economic downturn in combination with ageing middle-agers has not assisted with pension and health care expenses. And while old age and pension are generally associated with balance and relaxation, a time to reconnect with grandkids, golf and associate with friends. Today, our elderly people have been hit with the economic downturn, real estate problems and late retirements. And long-term senior care expenses have definitely affected not only elderly people and care providers, but also the country as a whole.

The good news? Medical health insurance is providing more. And different types of senior housing and care mean different expenses. We have found that many family members are not actually aware of the different senior living options as most search specifically for “nursing houses.” This detachment between community understanding and individual senior needs reveals us how important senior care cost education is to the United States. After all, smart planning for expected long-term senior care expenses is half the fight.

Here is more information on senior care expenses, depending on care type.

  • The national regular daily amount for rooms in a assisted living facilities has improved a little bit this season (approximately $10 more)
  • The national regular monthly base amount in served residing areas has improved a little bit this season (approximately $100 more)
  • The national regular house care on per hour basis rate improved a little bit by 5.3% in 2012

While these increases may be minor, they’ve only been over a season. This is why smart retirement and financial planning are so important for American families.

Trends in Assisted Living Centers

Medical center drapes and cafeteria food? Not anymore. Assisted living centers have come a long way from the clinical facilities of old, providing citizens an ever-expanding selection of services that indicate the variety of middle-agers themselves. “The population is ageing, and more customers can demand more choices,” says Phil Carle, founder of the Senior Housing Administration program at George Mason University, which instructs learners to handle senior residing facilities. The senior housing industry is reinventing itself to meet the needs of the seniors with eco-friendly pension areas, facilities that highlight long term learning, villages that enable retired persons to age at home and more.

Take niche housing for instance. These days, a number of qualities provide a select part of citizens, much like boutique hotels. “We’ve achieved the level of progress where rather than all these assisted living centers looking alike, acknowledging that there’s a huge population of elderly people out there so we can split into specialized housing,” says Carle. For example, Aegis Landscapes in Fremont, California is designed toward the needs of Asian elderly people. The employees talk English and Chinese, and the structure is based on the design fundamentals of feng shui. Social interactions include tai chi and calligraphy.

There are also approximately a number of these assisted living centers focused to the gay and lesbian population, a service for nudists in California, and an elderly day care group in Livingston, California, known as Escapees Care Center, devoted to retired persons who live in motor homes, or RVs, and aren’t prepared to give up that way of life. “The vehicle parking areas are wheel chair available, and health professional helps visit the RVs throughout the day to provide food and help citizens get clothed or take medicine,” says Carle.