Assisted Living

What to look for in an assisted living community

An Assisted Living Community (ALC) bridges the gap for seniors who need assistance with daily activities as a nursing home might offer, but wish to live as independently as they are capable of living for as long as possible. Residents in an Assisted Living Community are unable to live by themselves, but do not require constant supervision. An ALC offers its residents assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, and keeping track of medications. They often have centers for medical services, but typically do not offer the extensive medical services provided by a nursing home. An Assisted Living Community is not a substitute for a nursing home, but rather is a stepping stone between complete independence and service provided by a nursing home.

Often, an ALC will create an individualized service plan for seniors upon admission, detailing personal services that will be provided to the resident. This plan is periodically reviewed and updated to provide the correct care each resident receives. Housing in an ALC may be studio or one-bedroom apartments with small kitchen facilities. Typically, Assisted Living Community housing units have group dining facilities and common areas where residents gather to enjoy social and recreational activities.

An Assisted Living Community may be licensed as a “Type A” or “Type B” facility, says Martinez. “A facility with a Type A licensing means that the residents are mentally and physically able to vacate the building without assistance within 15 minutes,” says Martinez. “A Type B certification means that residents require assistance to vacate the building within 15 minutes. Our facility is licensed for Type B, as we are also certified to care for residents with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

“Your first impression of an Assisted Living Community is the most important,” says Martinez. “What do you see when you get out of the car? How do they take care of the lawn? What is your first impression of the staff? Are the residents properly dressed? How’s the lighting inside the buildings? What activities are available? Are staff members all in the same uniform? Scrubs are not appropriate for an Assisted Living Community, but nametags are important.

“I’m not bragging about our own facility,” says Martinez of her own community, Parmer Woods Retirement & Assisted Living, “but people comment all the time about that first impression when they walk into my building, go on the tour, and acknowledge that they like what they see.”


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