Myths and Realities About Assisted Living

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There are plenty myths and realities about assisted living – ideas that can hurt your chances of making the right choice. If you’re considering a move to an assisted living facility for yourself or for a loved one, here are a few myths vs. realities about assisted living.myths and realities about assisted living facilities:

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Myth: “Assisted living” is just a fancy phrase for “nursing home.”

Reality: Nothing could be further from the truth. While a nursing home provides round-the-clock medical care for seniors with more serious health needs, an assisted living facility is more like a normal apartment building or residential area, with helpers on staff to assist you in activities of daily living.

Light assistance is often available in areas such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, and transportation—but you get your own apartment and your own independent lifestyle. Some assisted living facilities offer a busy schedule of activities and entertainment for residents.

Myth: Assisted living facilities can’t handle residents with more serious health care needs.

Reality: They can handle more than you’d think. Most assisted living facilities don’t have nurses on duty around the clock. But many have at least one registered nurse on staff during the day or available for phone and email consultations. In addition, some facilities operate in conjunction with nursing homes and hospice care centers with medical staff available on a more frequent basis for residents with more serious health care needs. Some have apartments designed for people with mobility issues. It’s worth it to discuss your needs with the staff at any facility you’re considering before making a decision—there’s a chance they can accommodate your needs.

Myth: Assisted living is covered by Medicare.

Reality: They are not. Many of the services at assisted living facilities are considered “non-skilled”—including help bathing, dressing, administering medication, and managing basic hygiene. Services like these are not covered by Medicare, and most assisted living programs only accept long-term care insurance. Affording this type of facility often takes some planning ahead. However, some facilities will set aside a limited number of apartments for Medicaid-qualifying residents with low incomes.

Generally, an assisted living facility is perfect for seniors who need a little light help with basic activities of daily living—but who don’t require 24-hour medical supervision or serious therapy. If you’re looking to maintain an independent lifestyle in safety and comfort, an assisted living situation may be the best option for you.

How Texas licenses assisted living facilities is based on residents’ physical and mental ability to evacuate the facility in an emergency and whether nighttime attendance is necessary. Texas assisted living facilities can be large apartment-like settings or private residences. Services include meals, bathing, dressing, toileting and administering or supervising medication.

There are two types of Texas assisted living  facilities:

  •  Type A facility cares for residents who do not require routine attendance during sleeping hours and are capable of following directions in an emergency.
  • Type B facility is for residents who require staff assistance to evacuate, are not capable of following directions in an emergency and require night time attendance.

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