Assisted living is an excellent option for many seniors who can no longer live independently at home but don’t need 24-hour care. Assisted living facilities are able to provide different levels of care to seniors in order to meet their needs.
- Most assisted living facilities have three different levels of care
- Level 1 is the lowest level of care and is primarily independent living for seniors who need low level of assistance
- Level 2 is moderate level of care and seniors may need help with many aspects of activities of daily living
- Level 3 is the highest level of care and is for seniors who need significant help with ADLs
- Memory care and skilled nursing care are beyond the scope of the 3 main assisted living levels of care
Assisted Living Care Plans
Assisted living care plans include every aspect of care, supervision, and services that an assisted living center provides to a resident. The care plan will include a detailed list of daily activities, meal preferences, medications, and other services available to assisted living residents.
Assisted living facilities offer a wide range of services to their residents. Most assisted living facilities to focus on two key categories of care: health and personal care. Health care includes activities that encourage daily activity and maintain good health.
Personal care services are focused on helping residents maintain their independence and self-esteem. Assisted living facilities may also offer specialized respite and memory care services.
Assisted Living Level 1 Care
Low Level: Residents are usually self-sufficient in this care level. A resident with a low level of care needs only episodic help or support with one or more aspects of personal care or health care. Some people might need light supervision or assistance to ensure activities are completed safely and appropriately.
An individual at this level of care typically receives some assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, or using the toilet, but can handle these tasks with minimal support. Further, this individual can self-monitor and self-manage some aspects of personal care. A person at this level of care requires minimal supervision due to their level of independence.
Assisted Living Level 2 Care
Moderate Level of Care: A resident who requires significant assistance or support in one or more health care or personal care areas needs a reasonable level of care. Providing transportation assistance to medical appointments, administering necessary medical treatments, or managing behavior adjustments are further examples of common areas of support at a moderate level.
Activities such as bathing, eating, dressing, grooming, bathroom use, and transferring from a bed to a chair or wheelchair require considerable assistance and support.
Assisted Living Level 3 Care
High level of Care: A resident who requires a high level of care needs regular, intensive help with various personal care or medical requirements. Mental or physical disabilities hamper this resident’s ability to complete several daily tasks. They could need multiple caretakers to provide them with full support.
These can include helping with dressing or bathing, assisting with eating, or providing assistance with mobility or communication. Care plans vary from person to person. The support staff will likely be alerted to the resident’s specific needs and trained to help the resident. Staff members must know how to help the resident and be present 24/7.
Assisted Living Memory Care
People with memory problems receive intensive, specialized care in memory care, a type of residential long-term care. Many nursing homes, continuing care retirement communities, and assisted living facilities have designated dementia patients’ “neighborhoods” for memory care.
As a more specialized setting, a memory care facility (or memory care wing of an assisted living facility) often falls outside the standard assisted living level of care programs. As a result, they are evaluated and valued differently.
What to do if You Need More Care?
While residents of assisted living communities come from a variety of care needs and stages of aging, more serious medical concerns may indicate that skilled nursing or memory care might be a better fit.
Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) are able to provide round-the-clock care for individuals who can no longer live independently or with custodial care. SNFs offer various services, including rehabilitation and medical care. In addition to nursing care, skilled nursing facilities offer physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.
Does Assisted Living Cost Vary By Level of Care?
While some facilities have a set monthly rate, most charge based on the level of care and amount of services your loved one requires. The daily rate may increase considerably if your loved one requires more care than others.
If your loved one needs the most assistance, it may cost significantly more to care for. While some assisted living facilities offer all of these services as part of the price of admission, be sure to ask whether they’re included at all costs or if they come at additional fees.