For seniors who have diverse needs and preferences, senior living can offer varying levels of care and opportunities. The “levels of care” for assisted living are determined by how much help a person requires in managing their health and performing activities of daily living (ADLs). Each of these levels of care in assisted living has a different price point and level of personal assistance. The abundance of options available to today’s seniors to meet their requirements is a blessing, yet having too many options can easily make one feel overwhelmed. If you’ve decided that assisted living may be what you need, you have to familiarize yourself with the various levels of care offered by your assisted living facility.
Knowing about the different levels of care will help you come up with great questions to ask when touring communities and will also assist you or a loved one know what resources are available as time goes on. Although care levels might vary from assisted living community to assisted living community, understanding what to expect and having a framework for personalizing your questions during your next visit or tour will help.
The majority of states do not impose minimum standards of care on the assisted living sector. This implies that it is up to each community to specify the various levels of care and the associated needs. Communities that offer residential living, skilled nursing, memory care, assisted living, and rehabilitation are typically found to have two to four levels of care.
Residents with only a limited need for assistance often receive lower levels of care. These residents are able to move around independently, whether they choose to walk, use a wheelchair, or use an assistive device. Residents are able to express their choices and have no memory loss. They are independent in their daily hygiene and care, albeit they may want assistance when taking a shower and fastening buttons when getting ready in the morning. Even if they do use incontinence products, they are able to handle their toileting demands. Nurses administer their medications, check blood sugar levels, and carry out other routine tests in the community, but elaborate medical supervision is not necessary for the resident.
For people who require more direct support from carers, higher levels of care are available. These seniors might not be able to move about on their own and may require assistance when walking or using a wheelchair. Residents require greater assistance with clothing, bathing, or managing their incontinence or bowel habits. These residents may show some memory loss symptoms, and they may need more verbal or tactile cues to make decisions or successfully navigate their days. Last but not least, these residents may need extensive medical monitoring or help to manage chronic pain, and they may be more at risk for falls or other safety issues.