Assisted living facilities provide skilled aid and housing to persons, usually retired senior citizens who, because of temporary or permanent medical problems, cannot perform day-to-day activities without a certain degree of aid. If you are trying to place a loved one in an assisted living facility, you may be confused by the lingo unique to this industry. Below are some important terms you should know about.
ALF – The abbreviation for Assisted Living Facility. These places offer aid and housing in the long term to those who are incapable of independent living but who do not require the more intensive, round-the-clock medical care associated with nursing homes or hospitals. Residents typically have their own apartments and nurses are not necessarily around 24 hours a day.
Activities of Daily Living – Also called ADLs, the term used in the health care industry for everyday actions such as bathing or eating. People who require assisted living usually need help with several ADLs.
Eldercare – Medical aid and treatment associated with senior citizens. Also called elderly care.
Hospice – A type of medical center for the terminally ill.
Alzheimer's Disease – An incurable brain disease that most commonly strikes seniors, it is marked by the progressive decline of mental abilities, particularly memory loss.
CCF – A Convalescent Care Facility. These offer medical care and housing to people recovering from serious illnesses.
Continuing Care Retirement Community – An adult community that offers a wide range of services combining aspects of ALFs and nursing homes.
Veterans Nursing Homes – A type of facility restricted to members of the military. These are monitored by the Veterans Health Administration, which has a variety of health programs for eligible adults.
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When senior citizens and people with disabilities need a place to live but don’t necessarily require intense hospital supervision, they may benefit from an assisted living facility. Elder care facilities, similar to nursing homes, provide a relaxing atmosphere while enjoying as normal a life as possible. They may gain the help of physical therapists, nurses, and doctors who can lend assistance.
Skilled nurses can provide personal grooming assistance and administer medication. Occupational and physical therapists provide regular therapy for those with permanent disabilities. Patients within an assisted living health care facility may be young adults or they may be of retirement age. Some suffer from birth defects, while other seniors suffer from late-onset diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes can be a worthwhile long term option for families who don’t have the resources to care for their loved ones. Residents can live mostly on their own and can enjoy a fulfilling life, as nurses and aids ensure they experience regular outings, get outside, and participate in life. Many hold part or full-time jobs. Nurses also ensure that patients get plenty of rest and take their medication.
Citizens in this situation can thrive outside of a hospital or medical center environment, given the right tools to be independent. Assisted living facilities may resemble apartments, group homes, community centers, or convalescent homes. Some are meant just for veterans, while others are meant for young adults suffering from physical disabilities.
This could be a viable option for people of retirement age who are no longer able to care for large homes, and who need a little more assistance in day-to-day tasks. This type of housing promotes independence, in addition to any assistance necessary. They may offer programs, such as delivery of meals and hospice, plus fun activities and outings.