The Family and Caregiver Guide to Assisted Living is meant to provide you with answers to your biggest questions about caring for your loved ones.
A caregiver is someone involved in assisting others with aspects of their daily living. Professional caregivers are paid to assist and may provide care in someone’s home or an assisted living facility.
Informal caregivers, however, often provide this service without pay, typically for a spouse, parent, friend, or neighbor. There are about 34.2 million caregivers in the U.S. providing unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or older, according to AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving.
For many of these informal caregivers, providing this type of service comes at a price.
75% of caregivers are females who spend an average of 24 hours per week providing care.
That looks like:
- 13 days each month on tasks such as shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and giving medication
- 6 days per month on feeding, dressing, grooming, walking, bathing, and assistance toileting
- 13 hours per month researching care services or information on disease, coordinating physician visits, or managing financial matters
If that wasn't enough, more than one in ten U.S. parents are simultaneously taking care of their children and an adult family member.
Being an informal caregiver may be helpful for the aging adult who needs help, but it can take a toll on the caregiver.
Caregiving has all the features of a chronic stress experience: It creates physical and psychological strain over extended periods of time, is accompanied by high levels of unpredictability and uncontrollability, can create secondary stress in multiple life domains such as work and family relationships, and frequently requires high levels of vigilance. Caregiving fits the formula for chronic stress so well that it is used as a model for studying the health effects of chronic stress.
To preserve caregivers' health and well-being, some families choose to provide professional caregiving for their aging loved ones. Assisted living facilities are one way to ensure the needs of the loved one are met.
About Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living provides seniors with long-term housing and 24-hour care.
Many assisted living facilities offer private living quarters for assisted care residents. At The Villas at Stanford Ranch, a luxury assisted living facility in Rocklin, CA, assisted living residents can choose from studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments.
What Type of Care is Available at an Assisted Living Facility?
Assisted living facilities can provide different types of care, based on the individual needs of the residents. 24-hour care is available for residents, should they need it.
Care duties can include:
- Hygiene tasks (bathing, using the toilet)
- Cooking nutritious meals
- Mobility assistance
- Social activities and outings
- Picking up
- Sorting mail
- Paying bills
- Medication management
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Care coordination
What Other Types of Services do Assisted Living Facilities Provide?
Assisted living facilities can also provide in-house services and amenities, in addition to caregiving activities. Top-of-the-line communities provide an enriching environment for residents.
At The Villas at Stanford Ranch, the senior living community provides residents with:
- Beauty salon
- Fitness center
- Movie theater
- Swimming pool and spa
- Special events (workshops, classes, speakers, fitness classes)
- Community outings
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
Assisted living costs include both the cost of housing and the cost of care. Because of the wide range of services and types of housing available, the best way to get an accurate cost is to request a quote from the assisted living facility of your choice.
Factors that go into assisted living costs include:
- Housing type and size (studio, 1-bedroom, or 2-bedroom apartment)
- Type of care services needed
- Frequency of care services needed
- Facility location
- Facility amenities
More Benefits of Assisted Living
In addition to ensuring your loved one's daily needs are taken care of, quality assisted living facilities offer additional benefits, including:
Nutritious, Restaurant-Style Meals
Aging adults have different dietary needs than younger adults. Daily eating habits can change at the same time that aging bodies need more of certain nutrients to stay healthy and well.
Assisted living communities know how important nutritious, flavorful meals are and prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinners specially tailored to the needs of aging adults. Restaurant-style service makes it easy for residents to show up, socialize, and be served.
Isolation is one of the biggest contributors to mental and physical health issues with aging adults. Research has found that loneliness increases the risk for depression, dementia, and disease.
Senior living facilities provide ample opportunities for seniors to socialize. From restaurant-style meals to planned events and outings to gathering places like outdoor courtyards, pools, and fitness centers, a senior community can reduce isolation and loneliness.
With round-the-clock professional care and trained staff, safety concerns lesson at an assisted living facility. 3 million seniors go to an emergency department each year because of falls. At an assisted living facility, seniors are evaluated and monitored for fall risks. And housekeeping care can help eliminate fall risks from clutter.
Can I Visit My Loved One at an Assisted Living Facility?
In most cases, you are welcome to visit your loved one at an assisted living facility as much as you'd like.
Exceptions to this could occur if the safety of residents is in question. In 2019 and 2020, for example, many assisted living facilities temporarily suspended visitors in order to protect residents from the threat of COVID-19.
But global pandemics are few and far between. And restrictions on visitors are lifting in many states as more and more people receive vaccines and mandates begin to lessen.
In a normal circumstance, visiting your loved one at their assisted living home would be no different than if they lived independently on their own.
What if I Have More Questions About Assisted Living?
This guide is an introduction to assisted living for loved ones and caregivers of aging adults. But you may have more questions about your specific loved one or the facility itself.
If you want to know more about the assisted living services in our luxury senior community in Rocklin, CA, contact The Villas at Stanford Ranch. Our professional staff is happy to answer your questions, provide price quotes, and give you a tour of our beautiful facility.
Being a caregiver for a spouse, parent, or loved one is difficult. Assisted living communities provide an opportunity for aging adults to live as independently as they'd like while still receiving the professional care they need. And it helps caregivers and family members exchange their caregiving responsibilities for a singular role of loving spouse, child, or grandchild. Contact us today to see if assisted living is right for your family.