For those searching for assisted living, the type of care offered as well as a number of personal and practical concerns will likely affect the final choice.
Assisted living might be a good option for a person who regularly needs help with daily activities including eating, toileting, bathing, dressing, grooming, walking, and moving around. The arrangement also includes onsite help with:
- Preparing meals
- Shopping for groceries and other essentials
- Doing laundry
- Taking medication safely and on time
Some assisted living facilities, often called “life care” or “continuing care retirement communities” (CCRCs), offer three graduated levels of care, which may go by different names but are intended to allow people to stay in one location as their needs change. They include:
- Independent living, for residents who can see to their own needs and enjoy the amenities of the facility
- Traditional assisted living, which includes help with activities of daily living, such as moving about and using the bathroom
- Skilled care, which provides more advanced care, including continuous monitoring and nursing services
CCRCs are generally the most expensive type of assisted living but may be a good choice for those who wish to stay in one place rather than be transferred to a nursing home if they require more advanced medical care later in their lives.
For more information about CCRCs, see the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform’s publication Continuing Care Retirement Communities in California: Is One Right for You?
Personal likes and dislikes can also be important in determining the best place for care and housing.
Location. Location may or may not be a concern for those seeking assisted living. Discuss the issue of relocating with the potential resident, listen to the responses — and honor preferences if possible. For many assisted living residents, for example, living close to family and friends in a familiar community is the greatest single concern.
CalQualityCare.org offers facility searches by zip code, city, and provider name.
Resident characteristics. Many people find it most comforting to be among others who are similar — in age and background, and in health care needs — when considering an assisted living arrangement. If this is an important concern, check the facility profiles on CalQualityCare.org, where you can see the type of clients served, as well as whether a facility provides locked perimeters and delayed exits.
You can also use the site’s “advanced search” function to filter by the type of care offered and by whether the facility is operated as a nonprofit or a for-profit.