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Intro to Assisted Living

Assisted living, or custodial care, is not, as many people think, like living in a rest home where your entire day is spent bed-ridden or sitting in a wheelchair. In fact, assisted living can be provided in your own home. It's really just what it says it is; assisted living. It may include help with, or the performance of, cooking chores, shopping, housecleaning, bathing or showering and everyday or weekly tasks that are difficult for you to handle on your own, but not 24 hour care. You basically conduct your daily life on your own terms.

If you'd rather live in an assisted living facility with other people who are in a similar lifestyle, that is also an option. Again, you are basically on your own except for the aforementioned activities. All the amenities you would require are available for you to enjoy with the friends you will make there. Naturally, families are allowed and encouraged to visit and you are allowed to go out on day trips or visitations. Each facility has its own regulations about available hours for visitation and coming and going but you are not subject to any other limitations on those activities.

A Few Other Misconceptions About Assisted Living Facilities

  • I Will Be Tethered to the Facility - Not true. Many assisted living residents still drive and have their own vehicles. Most facilities also provide transportation to shopping malls, parks and other public places. You can enjoy the day away from the facility without stress from having to put out a friend or family member for transportation.
  • I'll Be with Sick People - Not necessarily true at all. Most residents are senior citizens who have perhaps suffered a mild or even temporary decline in their overall health due to aging, injury or ailment, but they aren't all permanently bedridden.
  • Privacy Will Be a Thing of the Past - Some facilities offer private suites or rooms. There are also apartments for two residents. That could be a spouse or another resident. The options for living space vary from facility to facility.
  • The Food Will Be Horrible - The style and menus will obviously vary and really depend on who's doing the shopping and the cooking. It's recommended that you consider the dietary factor into your decision of which facility to go with. Many facilities will allow you to visit during a mealtime and have a meal so you can judge for yourself how the food and the ambiance are.


What Can I Expect to Pay?

Much of what the costs are depends on a few things, the amenities, the geographical location and how much living assistance you'll require. If you want a private room, of course that will be a bit more expensive than a communal space. It behooves you to do the research and ask questions but the average costs come to about $2,200 to $5,000 per month.

Generally, Medicare does not pay for assisted living costs but there are insurance companies that provide long term care insurance policies. Again, research is highly recommended.

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