Assisted living is a broad term that encompasses multiple levels and variations on care services. Some residents may need minor help with medication reminders or other, similarly simple, everyday activities. Others, especially those with memory loss or cognitive decline, may need near-continuous supervision. As stated by Caitlin Morgan, having clearly defined levels of care can ensure residents are in the appropriate program while also helping families understand costs associated with care services.
Choosing the Right Level of Care
Most assisted living facilities will have at least two main categories of care: low and high. Those offering memory care services often reserve that as a separate level for patients with dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment.
Low-Level Care Services
Residents in lower levels of care are relatively independent. However, they may need assistance with medication reminders and household tasks.
High-Level Care Services
Patients who require more assistance and monitoring should be enrolled in higher levels of care services. They may need help getting around, or with tasks such as bathing, grooming and getting dressed.
Memory Care Services
Those with marked cognitive decline may need to be in specially designated memory care units. Providers are trained to deliver compassionate and appropriate care as memory and function decline with disease progression or advancing age.
Assigning patients to the correct level within an ALF allows them to get the care they need. It can also help reduce transfers between units as abilities change or decline. At the same time, it allows families to plan for costs associates with long-term care.