Assisted Living

With age tasks that were once easy to accomplish can become more challenging, while for some, even hazardous. Daily tasks like preparing 3 nutritious meals & snacks daily, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, taking medications timely or needing some help with dressing and grooming can be overwhelming leaving the seniors in potential harm and isolated from their peers.

What is Assisted Living

Assisted Living communities are an option for seniors requiring supervision or assistance with their activities of daily living (ADL’s) such walking, eating, getting dressed, using the bathroom, getting in or out of bed, and support with medication and other activities.This should be viewed as a long-term option for seniors who need or want assistance with various daily activities.

Assisted Living communities in Houston, Texas provide the highest level of independence while living in a care setting. Typical services include staff available 24 hours a day. They provide health and social programs, and access to medical services when necessary they are also the most diverse in terms of what they include and accept.

Most assisted living facilities in Houston, Texas have a group dining area and common areas for social and recreational activities. They also offer weekly housekeeping, laundry and ongoing facility maintenance.

Residents can share or have their own private apartment, which can be a studio, one, two bedroom floor plan. Assisted living services in Houston can be provided in freestanding communities, near or integrated with skilled nursing homes or hospitals, as components of continuing care retirement communities, or at independent housing complexes.

Some assisted living facilities in Houston, Texas operate like a resort, and some are more regimented for the protection of their resident’s health and mobility. They could also have onsite beauty shops and entertainment venues. State and local agencies regulate the facilities to ensure appropriate care.

Some include medication management and individual meal preparation in basic rent while some provide options to subscribe to these services for an additional expense.

Who is Assisted Living for

Assisted Living communities bridge the gap between Independent living & skilled nursing homes. They provide personalized care intended to meet individual needs & preferences with limited nursing care while helping residents retain as much of their independence as possible.

Assisted Living facilities in Houston is typically designed for individuals who are unable to live alone, don’t require constant care, but need assistance with everyday activities. For families, it gives them peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are receiving the attention, care and leisure opportunities that contribute to their fulfilling lives at this stage of needing more help.

Large Type Assisted Living

Large type assisted living facilities accommodate 17 or more residents and are for individuals with early-stage dementia, also known as mild cognitive impairment. At this stage, a person may have short-term memory loss, but symptoms are mild, like occasional forgetfulness.

Most of the time, the person is able to live independently but may need help with medication management and support for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Large assisted living communities offer less personalized care because residents are more than capable.

Large type assisted living community is usually for individuals who need assistance with:

  • Taking medications.
  • Managing money.
  • Housekeeping or performing light chores.
  • Cooking.
  • Maintaining a hobby.

Large type assisted living facilities offer a safe environment, housing, meals, supervision, and supportive services. The staff-to-resident ratio is higher compared to a small type assisted living, meaning one care staff can be assigned to take care of multiple residents.

But this is ideal since the dementia symptoms don’t hinder the individual’s daily activities, and the person doesn’t need 24-hour care monitoring yet. The care required by people with early-stage dementia is at a low level.

Depending on the community, amenities in large type assisted living may include:

  • Outdoor spaces, such as flower gardens, courtyards, walking trails.
  • Gyms.
  • Barbershops and beauty salons.
  • Pet-friendly accommodations.
  • Game room and library.
  • Transportation services to doctor appointments or grocery stores.
  • Accompanied group trip to events or venues.

Large type assisted living communities usually organize large group activities, such as games, dancing, art classes, fitness, and special events. All of these fun activities boost social engagement for people with dementia.

Large type assisted living communities help maintain the individual’s independence and control to live a normal lifestyle with little or minimal staff assistance only when needed. Therefore, there aren’t many changes in the way they live before they have the condition.

Large type assisted living communities usually organize large group activities, such as games, dancing, art classes, fitness, and special events. All of these fun activities boost social engagement for people with dementia.

Small Type Assisted Living

Small assisted living communities could be situated in a residential neighborhood in a repurposed home setting or built as a commercial building. They can accommodate only up to 16 residents at a time. It’s a perfect community for people with middle-stage dementia experiencing moderate symptoms, such as short-term memory loss accompanied by major health concerns such as fall risk, which require higher care.

Small type assisted living community is for individuals who need assistance with completing most of their daily activities, like grooming, eating, and dressing. This type of living option is favorable for those who exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Short-term memory loss and confusion.
  • Depression and verbal outbursts.
  • Sleeping problems.
  • Behavioral changes.
  • Hallucinations and delusions.
  • Difficulty with perception.

Individuals with mid-stage dementia require a higher level of care because, at this stage, symptoms are more pronounced. They need personalized care that large assisted living communities are unable to provide.

In small assisted living communities, the staff-to-patient ratio is lower than a large type assisted living, allowing care staff to render individualized care to people with ongoing health and mobility issues.

More importantly, small communities have a more homely environment, which is beneficial for people experiencing cognitive decline. A dementia-friendly, homely surrounding brings a feeling of belongingness and calmness to the residents.

Some amenities may include:

  • Beautiful outdoor spaces.
  • Health and wellness facilities.
  • Creative spaces.
  • Entertainment rooms, like a movie theater or game rooms.
  • Social spaces.

Small assisted living communities are very safe and secure, which is crucial for people who can’t remember much and often feel lost. The residents receive healthy meals and care support. Families can have peace of mind because their loved ones receive enough care attention and are monitored intensively.

Certified Advisors at Senex Memory Advisors offer assisted living advising for families who have loved ones who are prepared to live in different care settings. This option is not for everyone, we will guide you through the process so you are able to weight the options and make an informed decision.

What’s the difference between assisted living and a skilled nursing facility?

Assisted Living promotes independence and emphasizes wellness in a warm, dignified, community setting. Residents live in their own private apartment that they can furnish and decorate as they choose. Residents choose what they want to eat at meals in restaurant style dining rooms, and they have the freedom to decide which activities they want to participate in or how they want to spend their day. Assisted Living Facilities in Houston, Texas have care givers, round the clock, available to assist residents with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, walking or wheeling, and transferring into and out of bed.

Health care experts estimate a good number of seniors residing in skilled nursing facilities actually do not need round-the-clock care. Assisted Living facility could offer them a place to call home that provides more cheerful surroundings, privacy, space and dignity then is typically found in a nursing home, and at a lower cost.

What is the cost of assisted living facilities?

The rates fluctuate depending on the unit size: studio, one or two-bedroom apartment. Base rates cover room and board and meals. Additional charges can include entrance or community fees up to one month’s rent, deposits, and fees for other services like housekeeping and laundry, though many providers include those services as well.

In Texas, assisted living average monthly costs can range from $3,000 to $6,000 per month or more. Our advisors can walk you through them step by step. We can help you look at the variables and help you understand the financial logistics specific to your situation.

Can we afford assisted living?

There's a range of costs involved depending on your needs and preferences. Our advisors can walk you through them step by step. We need to look at two things: your monthly income and your assets, while taking into account things you'll no longer have to pay for, such as homeowner's insurance, maintenance, and major utilities. We can help you look at the variables and help you understand the financial logistics specific to your situation.

How can one pay for assisted living?

Rent can be paid privately, through private funds such as Social Security, pension and savings or by long-term care insurance. If an individual is eligible, the rent can be paid by entitlements, such as SSI and Medicaid can pay for the personal care services.

Medicare does not cover Assisted Living. The only insurance that pays for assisted living is private pay Long Term Care Insurance, and those policies can vary widely. If you have purchased a Long Term Care (LTC) insurance policy, let us know and we will tell you what questions to ask when you call your carrier for specifics.

Does assisted living room come furnished?

Assisted living typically don’t come furnished. It’s just like having your own apartment. Residents furnish as they please with belongings. Residents take pride in decorating their apartments and doors and adding their own personal touches to their homes.

That said, some communities provide fully furnished apartments for short-term stays.

Do assisted living allow pets?

It depends on the community. Most allow for pets, with a weight limit, to keep pets in resident's apartment. Fees may apply. All required vaccinations and licensing must be current. Pets offer great comfort and therapeutic benefits. Some have pets that belong to the facility.

Are family visitations allowed in assisted living?

Assisted living can have visitors at any time and are free to come and go as they please. There might be a security system requiring a code or bell for nighttime access, but there's the same level of freedom as you enjoy in your current home. You can have overnight guests, holiday visitors, or even go away for a holiday or weekend if you want.

How is food at assisted living?

Residents choose from many delicious menu options created and prepared by professional chefs. Many special dietary requirements, including no-salt-added and no-concentrated-sweets diets, are easily accommodated.

Can I live in assisted living if I need a wheelchair or walker?

Yes. Seniors who need assistance with mobility continue to live in assisted living.

When should we begin the process of considering an assisted living community?

The sooner the better. When you first begin to notice signs your loved one may not be thriving (not eating well, mail or housework piling up, skipping medications, depressed, agitated or becoming increasingly forgetful) it's time to considering options for the future.

If you wait until there's a crisis, big and important decisions will have to be rushed and made under duress and end up spending lot more in care at a senior living facility. Plan ahead. Giving yourself and your family more time to get used to possibilities for the future makes for less disruption and a more gradual transition.

Does assisted living provide 24 hour care?

Assisted Living facilities in Houston have care givers, round the clock, available to assist residents with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, walking or wheeling, and transferring into and out of bed. However, unlike a skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility generally do not accept residents who are immobile or bed bound and need nursing care for chronically ill available at a skilled nursing facility.

What services are provided in assisted living facilities?

Assisted Living facilities near me typically provided all meals, housekeeping and assistance with daily tasks (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, walking or wheeling, and transferring into and out of bed. Laundering of personal clothes, towels and bed linens, trash removal, housekeeping is provided. Social and cultural activities, wellness programs including daily exercise classes, are also available. Some assisted living facilities also provide transportation to appointments, shopping and organized outings. Services of visiting physicians, registered nurses, podiatrist, dentist, and home health professionals are also available.

What are the different types of assisted living facilities?

Assisted living facilities in Houston, Texas are licensed according to size, type and building safety features. An assisted living facility must be licensed as a Type A or Type B facility. A facility's licensure type is based on the capability of the residents to evacuate the facility or the types of services the facility provides, or both.

Type A
In a Type A facility, a resident: must be physically and mentally capable of evacuating the facility without physical assistance from staff, which may include an individual who is mobile, although non-ambulatory, such as an individual who uses a wheelchair or an electric cart, and has the capacity to transfer and evacuate himself or herself in an emergency; does not require routine attendance during nighttime sleeping hours; and must be capable of following directions under emergency conditions.

Type B
In a Type B facility, a resident: may require staff assistance to evacuate; require attendance during nighttime sleeping hours; be incapable of following directions under emergency conditions; and require assistance in transferring to and from a wheelchair, but must not be permanently bedfast.

Sizes of Facilities

Small - Small facilities are defined as those with 16 residents or less.
Large - Large facilities are defined as those with 17 residents or more.

In Texas, anyone with three or fewer residents (unrelated to them) does not have to be licensed. This generally creates a care ratio of three guests to one care provider. It is rare to see fire and other alarm systems in these settings. Plus, they are not inspected by the licensing agency survey staff.

How many seniors live in assisted living facilities?

Number of residents living in an assisted living facility depends on its license type. In the State of Texas, assisted living facilities near me are licensed as small or large.

Small - Small facilities are defined as those with 16 residents or less.

Large - Large facilities are defined as those with 17 residents or more.

Residents can live in private or shared rooms depending on their contract with assisted living facilities in Houston, Texas.

Does Medicare or Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living?

Medicare is a health insurance program which covers qualified healthcare costs while your loved one is living at a certain facility. Medicare does not cover the costs of Assisted Living or similar long term care facilities. Medicare is more often used to pay for short terms stay at a skilled nursing facility or services provided by home health care agency. 

Medicaid is a joint state & federal program which uses criteria of financial need to qualify an individual. Generally, your income has to be at or below national poverty line to qualify. Rules for qualification under Medicaid program vary by each state.

In the state of Texas, Medicaid does pays for assisted living under STAR+PLUS program. The assisted living facility has to be contracted with Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCO). Due to standards of qualification and documentation burden imposed by state regulations, the number of such facilities is very limited.

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