Across America, people Google or search the term “assisted living concepts” at the impressive rate of 5400 times a day. They are mostly seniors or their adult children who understandably want to know more about the growing alternatives to aging in place in one’s home. You may be one of them. Welcome!
I respect and understand the attachment people have to their homes including the common assumption that it is the best and least expensive option for aging seniors, even as their health fails. Many industries tout their different services including reverse mortgages, renovations and in-home devices, so seniors never have to leave their homes. As a client of Savvy Aging, I will help you in a considerate and expert way evaluate whether staying home is the best option. I should know. My own mother was taken care of in her home by my brother for many years before we agreed she needed assisted living. In retrospect and like many families I helped over the years in my capacity as a retirement community Executive Director, we waited too long to make that decision.
During my career I have witnessed and participated in the impressive growth of the assisted living industry on many levels:
- As a consumer,
- executive director,
- marketing director,
- attorney advising providers,
- industry thought leader,
- state and national advisory committee member and,
- as President of a large Alzheimer’s Association chapter.
I deeply understand the core assisted living concepts that form the guiding principles of this senior care and housing option. If you wish to research this further, visit the websites for the Assisted Living Federation of America [www.alfa.org] or the National Center for Assisted Living [www.ncal.org]. Below are a few of my personal/professional impressions.
Home-like environment: The assisted living concept emerged from the belief that seniors and families alike wanted an option different from the historically very institutional nature of nursing homes. The status and “feel” of assisted living as a resident’s home is not just a goal- it is imbedded in the philosophy, practices, design, management and even regulation of these facilities, regardless of size.
Resident-centered care: Care planning and its delivery must be individualized as much as possible and based upon a more social than medical model. Despite the need for uniformity and rules, personal preferences and autonomy need to be accommodated as much as reasonably possible while following state regulations, industry standards, facility policies and procedures, safety considerations, and the duty to respect the rights of all residents.