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How Is the Level of Care for Assisted Living Determined?

When considering assisted living options for you or a loved one, the best care is determined by assessing what “level of care” is needed.

When considering assisted living options for you or a loved one, the best care is determined by assessing what “level of care” is needed. This is evaluated through how much assistance is needed with “activities of daily living,” or ADLs.

Knowing which tasks a senior can perform on their own and how many they need help with will determine what assisted living levels of care are needed and what type of community is best. This will ensure your loved one receives the quality of care they require while living as independently as they are able. But how exactly is the level of care determined?

Assessing Level of Care

Once you have selected a senior living community that interests you, new guests will go through a needs assessment to determine their necessary level of care. This is conducted by the staff as a part of the pre-screening process. A needs assessment will evaluate and rank certain factors, such as their ability to perform ADLs as well as their mental and physical condition.

Each community has a different way of ranking levels of care, but the fundamentals are the same. You or your loved one will be evaluated based on behavioral condition (ability to comply with policies and how their behavior affects the safety of others), mental condition (cognitive function is assessed and whether they have any signs of confusion or dementia), medical needs, and special support (if they require oxygen, a special diet, or other special assistance).

Ability to Perform ADLs

A major factor in determining assisted living levels of care is assessing one’s ability to care for themselves. The more help they need, the higher the level of care required. Though there are variations of what ADLs are included on a checklist, there are six main ADLs to consider:

  • Personal hygiene—This includes bathing/showering, grooming, and nail and oral care.
  • Dressing—Can they dress and undress themselves? Are they able to select appropriate clothing?
  • Mobility—Are they able to walk independently? Can they stand from a sitting position and get out of bed? Are they able to use a mobility aid without assistance?
  • Eating—This includes the ability to feed oneself and to what degree they need assistance. This does not include food preparation.
  • Maintaining continence—Can they use the bathroom or change protective underwear without the help of a caregiver?
  • Medication—Are they able to fill prescriptions and take medication without help? Do they need reminders or assistance with taking medication?

3 Levels of Care

There are three different levels of care available within the context of senior living. The needs assessment will inform what level of care is needed.

  • Level 1: Low level of care—resident is mostly independent and may need some reminders to perform ADLs. Low level of supervision and assistance.
  • Level 2: Moderate level of care—independent with some ADLs but needs help with others.
  • Level 3: High level of care—resident needs extensive and frequent assistance with multiple ADLs and may require full assistance from multiple caregivers.

No matter the level of care required, the caring staff at the Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living is dedicated to providing both comprehensive and compassionate assisted living and memory care services. We are the loving choice for assisted living.