The level of care offered in assisted living varies from facility to facility. Typically, the services include 24-hour supervision and meals.
If seniors need higher levels of care, they will be transferred to a personal care or nursing home, depending on availability. When shopping around, be sure to take a tour and ask about what kind of services are offered.
Assisted living facilities provide level-one care for seniors who require general supervision and assistance with some of their daily tasks. They may need help getting in and out of the bathtub, doing laundry, or remembering to take their medications. This level of care involves skilled professionals like Licenced Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses providing basic assessment, medication management, and monitoring of vital signs.
Resident at this level typically can walk or use a wheelchair to get around and can manage their hygiene and toileting but require verbal or physical cueing to dress themselves. They can also handle their grooming and self-care needs, such as eating or drinking.
Using levels of care is beneficial for senior housing communities because it allows them to quickly adjust care if a person’s needs change and provides families with clarity about what each community offers. Although the scales vary by community, they all have a similar spectrum.
Residents who need help with one or more ADLs/iADLs and a low level of supervision typically receive care at this level. Examples include help bathing, reminders to take medication, and assistance moving around the community with a wheelchair.
Level three, also known as enhanced assisted living, involves extensive hands-on assistance with multiple ADLs from caregivers throughout the day. Often, residents at this level have multiple physical ailments and mild to moderate memory loss.
Assisted living Florida communities use noninvasive assessments to determine what level of care is best for prospective residents. These assessments usually include observations and interviews with the resident and family members. Senior adults must be assigned the right level of care to ensure they receive enough support and receive only what they need, which could result in safety issues. It is also common for seniors’ needs to change over time, and an assessment may be necessary if their ability to perform ADLs declines or their medical condition changes.
Level three care is for seniors requiring extensive hands-on assistance with daily living activities. They may need help with eating, dressing, and toileting. They likely have physical impairments and mild memory loss, which can be challenging to manage on their own. They also might have trouble remembering to take their medication and need a reminder to fasten their clothing or get dressed in the morning.
Assisted living communities typically provide a noninvasive assessment that helps them determine the appropriate level of care for each resident. This assessment is based on an individual’s needs and can be adjusted as those needs change over time.
Families need to understand the different levels of care in assisted living. It gives them a framework for determining what questions to ask when touring communities and preparing to move into one. The different levels can make the decision process more accessible and straightforward for everyone involved.
For seniors at this level, assistance with all aspects of daily life is provided. They may need help bathing, dressing, eating, and incontinence care. In addition, these residents often need reminders to take their medications and to eat correctly. They might also be at risk for choking.
A resident’s level of care helps assisted living communities determine how much staff they need to hire. For example, if many residents require assistance getting to and from the dining room, the community must have enough trained staff members available to meet this need.
While the levels of care in assisted living are standardized across state guidelines, they don’t necessarily correlate to the quality of care. Instead, the levels are meant to ensure that seniors receive the care they need in an environment that’s not as clinical as a nursing home. This helps them feel at home rather than in a hospital-like setting.