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What Qualifies Someone for Assisted Living?

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Finding the Right Level of Care

Finding the right community for your senior years can be challenging. Seniors deserve a place that can provide comfort and an appropriate level of care. There are many senior living options, from independent living to memory support. Each offers various services, events, and health programs tailored to specific needs.

Assisted living is a common option for senior care. But what qualifies someone for assisted living?

What Is Assisted Living?

Many older adults want to retain their independence. But 1 in 5 adults over 85 either need or currently receive help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Independent living can’t provide the support they need, but older adults still want the freedom to enjoy their life.

Assisted living can offer similar freedom to independent living or a retirement community, but with the benefit of personalized care. Although the services and amenities vary, assisted living communities typically focus on programs supporting intellectual stimulation, physical health, and social connection.

Some services usually included are:

  • Care coordination
  • Home maintenance & repairs
  • Housekeeping & laundry
  • Medication management
  • Mobility assistance
  • Nutritious meals
  • Personal care
  • Social activities
  • Transportation services

On-call staff is available 24/7 for care needs, including nurses and staff trained for emergencies. Seniors can feel safer knowing help is available with the press of a button.

Assisted living facilities support multiple aspects of senior wellbeing. Residents can take advantage of fitness classes or physical therapy. The all-inclusive dining services promote nutritious and delicious meals, even when personalized for dietary restrictions.

Seniors also benefit from enhanced security. Older adults are often targets for break-ins or scams. Assisted living communities have reliable security measures, including security staff and alarm systems.

A person can benefit from assisted living if they:

  • Are socially isolated
  • Don’t require extensive medical care
  • Don’t require memory support
  • Enjoy access to many activities & events
  • Need support with ADLs

What Qualifies Someone for Assisted Living?

Eligibility for assisted living admission is commonly determined by a health assessment created by the individual community. The evaluation follows state regulations, similar to the admission process for a nursing home or long-term medical care facility.

Seniors applying to an assisted living will typically need to submit the following:

  • Facility admission forms: The forms can include a resident agreement, including a list of provided services and required fees.
  • Medical history: Completed by the senior’s physician, the medical history provides the facility with information about current and potential medical needs.
  • Physical assessment: The senior’s physician completes the physical examination. Typically, it should be conducted a month or less before the start date of services or intended admission date.
  • Functional assessment: A facility employee assesses the senior’s care needs, typically a nurse or manager. The evaluation helps the facility determine what services to provide. For example, do they need help dressing, bathing, or eating? How do they react to social situations?

Based on the submitted assessments, residents receive a care plan. The plan outlines what services the facility will provide and the staff involved in care. Then, the resident can adjust the care plan (if needed) to meet their comfort level and care needs. Notably, care plans are re-evaluated at least every 6 months.

young hands hold a senior man's hand in support

Assisted Living Alternatives

Assisted living is for people who require some support for ADLs but don’t require extensive medical assistance. However, assisted living does provide limited medical services. It’s crucial to visit a community and ask questions to learn what medical services are offered.

Many assisted living communities also share facilities with other levels of care. For example, a facility may offer assisted living and memory support. Having multiple lifestyle options can make it easier to personalize care services.

Still, knowing your options can help determine if you’re qualified for assisted living or if another option is more appropriate.

Memory Support

Memory support provides personalized care for seniors with cognitive impairment, such as people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Specialized staff, memory-enhancing therapies, and unique environmental design help residents maintain their skills while improving comfort.

Memory support also offers similar services to assisted living, including assistance with ADLs. However, only applicants with medically diagnosed cognitive impairment are qualified for memory care.

Nursing Home

Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities offer 24-hour supervision with various health and personal care services. Unlike assisted living, a nursing home focuses on medical care and rehabilitation services. Nursing homes are intended for seniors with debilitating health issues and have specific requirements to qualify for admission, including: 

  • A physician’s order
  • A physical examination
  • A state-required form
  • Health care tests

An assisted living facility can sometimes be a better fit when a senior does not qualify for a nursing home.

Assisted Living at Mattison Crossing

When assisted living is the right level of care, the next step is choosing a community. Every assisted living facility is unique, from the people to everyday activities. Mattison Crossing offers personal assistance based on individual needs. We welcome you to get to know our community, staff, and services by scheduling a visit

Contact us today to learn more about assisted living at Mattison Crossing.

Morgan Berardi

Written by Morgan Berardi

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