The Assisted-Living Quality Coalition defines assisted living as
A congregate residential setting that provides or coordinates personal services, 24-hour supervision and assistance (scheduled and unscheduled), activities, and health related services
It is commonplace for the average person to envision an Assisted Living Facility as a large-scale institutional-like facility. However, while 92% of all beds can be found in larger facilities, 50% of all of these facilities are classified as small facilities (between four and 14 beds) with approximately 75,700 clients. These facilities offer varying levels of services. It is important to assess your or your family members needs to determine the level of quality that will meet your needs.
You will find that Assisted Living Facilities present their services based upon the number of activities of daily living a client requires assistance with. In general, thirty-eight percent of residents receive assistance with 3 or more activities of daily living (72% bathing, 52% dressing and 36% toileting). Thirty-six percent receive assistance with two or more and 26% did not receive any assistance. Almost 75% had diagnosis with at least two of the most common chronic conditions, with high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease/other dementias and heart disease being the top three, respectively.
While assistance with ADLs is one of the primary reasons to pursue residency in an Assisted Living Facility, it is not the only factor. Safety and security for our seniors, as well as social activities, are also important contributors to the decision to transition into an Assisted Living Facility. In a small-scale Assisted Living Facility, the staff and clients are, naturally, more attuned to each other and a sense of home and feeling of security is more easily recognized.