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We know you have many questions about assisted living. That’s why we created this FAQ page for you. Whether you need more info on regulations or on how to make a decision to have your loved one reside at an assisted living center, we offer these details. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help.
If you need help selecting the right facility for a loved one, we also introduce you to the Assisted Living Federation of America.
Q: What is assisted living?
A: An assisted living facility is for someone who cannot, or does not want to live alone anymore. An assisted living facility provides its residents with the companionship of others and offers help with daily activities such as meals, cleaning and medical care.
Q: Who lives in assisted living facilities?
A: More than a million Americans live in assisted living facilities. A variety of different people live in assisted living facilities, although the majority are women over the age of 80.
Q: How are assisted living facilities regulated?
A: According to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) assisted living facility’s regulations and licensing regulations vary state to state. In California the Department of Social Services regulates assisted living facilities.
Wrestling with a Difficult Decision
Choosing the best housing option for you or your loved one can be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. So many conflicting feelings come into play. Often, a sense of guilt can cause a child to delay arranging for assisted care, even when they know their parent is unable to care for him or herself. Writer Paulette Kaufman tells about her personal struggle with this decision.
Paulette observes that “many caretakers who decide to put their loved one in an assisted living facility think they have failed them somehow, even if they have already spent years caring for them and simply cannot do so any more.”
Paulette’s own mother contracted Parkinson’s disease. At one point she fell and broke her foot. This event forced Paulette to acknowledge the reality that her mother needed more care than she was able to give. Going through this decision process gave Paulette a desire to help others who face a similar decision.
Paulette writes, “The decision to place a loved one in an assisted living facility is a difficult but frequently unavoidable one. Even though the choice may be absolutely necessary, the person forced to make the decision for their spouse or parent often feels an overwhelming sense of guilt.
When the time came for me to decide to place my mother, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, into assisted living, I knew as a nurse that it was the best decision for both my mother and me. All the same, I felt an enormous amount of guilt, and when I came home after helping my mother move into her new community; I broke down, sobbing.