Moving to an assisted living community in Florida and the Tampa area
What is assisted living? According to the website of the Florida Assisted Living Association it's a community designed for older adults who need assistance with activities of daily living. It also means other services such as medication management, meal preparation and housekeeping may be provided or arranged on an as-needed basis. An important thing to consider about this type of senior care is that it is a continuum. Once you become accustomed to assisted living, it will be difficult to transition into life at an independent living community or nursing home.
Assisted living services are generally provided by professionals including registered nurses and licensed practical nurses under the supervision of a medication manager. There's also a wide range of medical staff on-site such as registered dietitians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. This type of senior care is geared towards those who are in good health with few limitations on their living arrangements.
Assisted Living versus Independent Living
Independent living communities offer more flexibility than assisted living facilities. For example, assistance with activities of daily living is not guaranteed. You can hire help as you need it, such as for housekeeping and meal preparation. Independent living community members typically must be able to manage their medications themselves and they have a private residence that is not part of a larger complex.
The main difference between independent living communities and assisted living facilities is the level of care offered. An independent living community is geared towards people who are in great health. If you need assistance with your activities of daily living, assisted living facilities provide a less restrictive environment.
Choosing the Right Assisted Living Facility
The process of selecting an assisted living community can be difficult and time-consuming. One way to make it easier is to start by narrowing the list of facilities down to a few that meet your needs. Here are some things to consider:
The number of other residents - Certain states have laws pertaining to the occupancy levels in assisted living communities. To find out what the minimum requirements are, call your city or state's Department on Aging. You'll also want to learn about medical staffing levels at the community.
The types of services offered - Some communities may not offer a specific service you require, such as physical therapy or memory care. You might also want to find out if there are any additional fees for providing these services.
Physical surroundings - It's important that an assisted living facility is clean and safe.