Is Assisted Living for People Who Are Sick?
When you think of “assisted living,” you might envision a nursing home or skilled nursing facility where seniors can access medical care, 24-hour supervision, meals, and activities. Although assisted living communities do share some features with skilled nursing facilities, there are important differences.
Seniors who choose to live in an assisted living community like Solterra at Chandler Assisted Living in Chandler, AZ, generally do not require ongoing or extensive medical attention. However, assisted living is an excellent choice for seniors who are active and want to maintain their independence but who need some assistance with activities of daily living. Although assisted living staff is available both day and night, these communities are not equipped to provide around-the-clock medical supervision and care for long-term or serious illnesses.
What Are Activities Of Daily Living?
So how do you know if an assisted living community would be a good fit for you or a loved one? First, consider your daily basis when it comes to personal care. The ability to independently complete certain routine tasks known as activities of daily living (ADLs) is essential to maintaining a safe physical environment and high quality of life.
Medical professionals consider the following to be ADLs:
- Transferring and walking – a person’s ability to move independently from one position to another; walking independently; getting in and out of bed, chairs, etc.
- Eating – a person’s ability to feed themselves
- Dressing – a person’s ability to clothe themselves
- Grooming – a person’s ability to maintain good hygiene by bathing; also dental hygiene, nail trimming, hair care, etc.
- Continence – a person’s ability to control the bladder and bowels
- Toileting – a person’s ability to move to and from and on and off the toilet; using the toilet; cleaning oneself after using the toilet
When determining an individual’s need for long-term care services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) suggests assessing each individual with regard to the basic ADLs above. If a person has difficulty completing these actions alone or without special equipment, then in-home care or care in an assisted living community might be considered.
Assisted Living And Assistance With ADLs
Assisted living communities specialize in offering care for individuals who need assistance with ADLs. Compassionate and caring staff are trained and know how to provide the appropriate help to residents when needed. Most assisted living communities have 24-hour emergency response systems in each resident’s living quarters where they can alert staff, day and night if they need assistance.
Although many assisted living communities do have nurses on staff and available, the medical care provided is for minor health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, or common illnesses like colds and flu. Generally speaking, people who are sick and require more extensive medical care should seek out other forms of long-term care, like a skilled nursing facility, rather than an assisted living community.
Seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia who require assistance with ADLs can often benefit significantly from a memory care community. Some assisted living communities, including Solterra at Chandler Assisted Living, also have memory care communities on-site.
Assisted Living And Other ADLs
In addition to the basic ADLs outlined above, the National Institutes of Health defines certain skills as instrumental ADLs. These activities are also fundamental to sustaining a high quality of life and require additional cognitive and organizational abilities. Instrumental ADLs include:
- Home maintenance – keeping up with home repairs and cleaning, especially living areas like the kitchen and bathrooms
- Transportation needs – driving a personal vehicle or navigation public transportation to enable grocery shopping and social activities
- Financial management – paying bills, managing income, keeping track of debts and assets
- Medication management – knowing when to take medicine, obtaining additional medication, administering correct doses as directed
- Shopping needs – getting toiletries, clothing, and other essentials for daily living
- Cooking – getting groceries, preparing meals
- Communication skills – using the telephone, email, and mail to communicate with others
Residents at Solterra never have to worry about cleaning because the efficient housekeeping staff provides weekly cleaning and linen services. No more worries about lawn care or appliances breaking down. Instead, residents can enjoy the beautifully-kept grounds and know that Solterra staff will handle any needed repairs in their private living spaces.
Daily transportation is provided for appointments as well as social activities and outings. Leave the driving, traffic, and parking to us and just enjoy the ride.
Solterra at Chandler Assisted Living offers chef-crafted meals every day. In addition to the menu full of “always available” favorite choices, there is also a seasonal menu that provides new and exciting tastes throughout the year.
Whether you’re looking for group fitness classes like yoga or Zumba or want to use the wellness center to meet with a physical therapist, Solterra makes it easy to stay active and focus on your physical well-being.
Spending time with friends is one of the greatest joys in life. Solterra at Chandler Assisted Living gives residents plenty of opportunities to connect as a community. There are scheduled classes, activities, and outings. Still, many residents also take full advantage of the media room, library, game room, and common areas to meet up with friends for game and movie nights, walks, and great conversations.
If you’re considering assisted living for yourself or a loved one, we would love to show you what Solterra at Chandler Assisted Living is all about. We believe in helping our residents enjoy the lifestyle they deserve while providing them the support they need to be their best.
We also think excellent assisted living should be affordable and accessible, so we’re happy to discuss financial solutions with you. We’re Medicaid-certified, which means you can use your benefits to help pay some of the costs.
Give us a call or send us a message today to schedule a tour. We can’t wait to meet you!