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The hallmark of the assisted living experience is flexibility and resident choice, with each community offering different housing styles; customized care and resident services; a variety of educational, social, cultural and fitness programs; and a range of cost structures.
An assisted living community and a nursing home are different options available to older adults and those with health conditions who can no longer live independently or choose to live in a more communal setting. Assisted living offers an enhanced residential experience and is not a medical environment, whereas nursing homes provide 24-hour skilled nursing assistance and intensive therapies for those who have ongoing complex or unstable medical conditions. Assisted living provides resident-centered, apartment living with freedom of choice, independence and a quality of life experience often similar to previous living arrangements with the option to bring in skilled nursing care for those who need it. This distinction is often why people choose assisted living.
Massachusetts assisted living communities are designed, operated and regulated as resident-centered apartments with personalized care and supportive services. Personal care services offered in assisted living cover a broad range of activities of daily life to assist the resident in maintaining the highest level of dignity and independence possible. An individualized, functional assessment and service plan are developed for each resident and are revised as new needs arise. The individualized assessment and service plan identify and monitor resident needs and implement plans to meet those needs.
Assisted living communities create a caring and safe environment, providing a social experience that enriches the life and wellness of residents, including nutritious meals and assistance with personal care and medication management and a robust and interactive calendar of activities and events. Assisted living offers the quality of life and personalized services that residents enjoy, and gives peace of mind to the families of those residents. In fact, residents report a high level of satisfaction and safety with regard to their assisted living experience: a 2013 national poll, which included Massachusetts, showed that 93 percent feel satisfied with their community, and 99 percent said they feel safe where they live.
The caregivers and staff in assisted living communities have dedicated their careers to providing a home-like environment that is safe and has the highest level of care. It is a necessary and satisfying living option for older adults who want their independence but just need some extra help. As more Massachusetts residents consider ways to age with dignity, assisted living will remain at the top of the list. Older adults want choice and independence, and a residential experience that promotes those values. They are choosing assisted living for very good reasons, and without this option there would be a serious gap in appropriate settings, services and quality of life for older adults.
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