Assisted Living (AL) Centres are one of the most popular elderly care options for seniors who can live largely on their own and have minimal medical needs. They may need some support for doing their daily chores and following medication routines or availing moderate levels of nursing care.AL is often termed as adult congregate care or residential care for elders.
AL Centres allow seniors to spend their golden years with dignity and remain independent as long as possible. It also fosters a family and community environment for their well-being and socialization while simultaneously maintaining the resident’s autonomy, privacy and safety. The living spaces can be individual rooms, apartments or shared areas. Residents are allowed to keep pets or interact with pets at the facility, meet visitors during the day and pursue their hobbies.
Besides AL centres, Senior Independent Living Homes are also available for independent elders to pursue an active lifestyle in the community of their peers. Here, optional and need-based private services are provided in freestanding homes.
Benefits for Seniors at AL
- Treatment with dignity and self-respect
- Freedom to follow personal choice of religion
- Protection from neglect and abuse
- Opportunity to interact with individuals both inside and outside the AL centre for maintaining social relationships
- Continued privacy
- Comprehensive safety and security mechanisms
- Complete control of personal finance
- Support for evaluation of medical needs and all forms of healthcare services
- Senior-friendly environment
- Assistance in daily activities when required
- Permission for continued usage and retention of personal possessions
Types of Care at AL
- Personal Care Assistant – AL facilities have caregivers who can assist the elderly residents in their personal care and routine tasks and are available on a 24/7 basis. The residents can set up their own schedules for getting assistance in eating meals, getting dressed, having bath or following their medication regimes. Besides this, other support facilities include an onsite pharmacy, salon services, therapy sessions and transport which are coordinated by a dedicated staff member.
- Home Care at Assisted Living – AL facilities provide a homely atmosphere for residents with a variety of amenities including
- Emergency call systems to monitor the safety and security of residents and prevent injury, falls or debilitating illness that could be fatal
- 24/7 Housekeeping and laundry services for providing emergency clean up in case of accidental toileting, spills and the like. Additionally, housekeeping services like vacuuming, dusting, changing bed linens, washing clothes and folding laundry are available to maintain clean surroundings and personal hygiene.
- Centralized dining programs that deliver three nutritious meals a day. Various dining options as room services, cafeteria ambience or free dining at a full-service restaurant are available. The meals are customized to personal preferences, prevailing medical conditions and dietary restrictions.AL dining options usually offer a variety of menu that is tasty, nutritious and satisfying to senior palates.
- Social Activity and Entertainment – Most AL facilities have common areas like libraries, gyms, cafes, gardens and gaming rooms for their residents. They also provide itineraries for structured social activities like movie reviews, gardening clubs and book discussion forums. Transportation may also be provided for group activities like mall shopping and theatre outings.
- Health and Wellness – Basic healthcare services customized to the senior needs are provided in AL. This includes emergency first aid services, medication management, medical records management and pharmacy support. Some facilities also take care of Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. Onsite physicians are also available for doing routine checkups and handling emergencies. Most centres also focus on Assisted Living Wellness Programs for seniors through various health and exercise programs including yoga, swimming, aerobics, walking groups and medical camps.
Thus AL provides an integrated homely care environment for elders who need varying levels of personal and health care support.