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Who Qualifies for Assisted Living?

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Tackling the question of assisted living isn’t just about hallways and floor plans—it’s a profoundly personal decision. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for who qualifies for assisted living because it typically depends on the individual community. A couple of significant factors that can determine whether a person qualifies for assisted living include age, health, and personal needs.

The best thing to do is contact the communities you or your loved one are interested in. Then you know that you’re getting accurate information on the qualifications for that community. For example, the community may have age requirements or only offer certain services that don’t meet your unique needs.

What Is Assisted Living?

There’s a common misconception that assisted living is exclusively for the very old or infirm. In truth, this kind of community is multidimensional, offering support to individuals who may simply need a little help with activities of daily life. But who qualifies for these communities, and how do they know it’s the right time? The answer isn’t as straightforward as it might seem.

Assisted living is a fairly broad term for a type of community that offers older adults assistance with their activities of daily living (ADLs), like bathing, dressing, or moving around. It often includes other forms of assistance like prepared meals, medication management, and housekeeping services.

What are the Requirements for Assisted Living?

Requirements can vary from state to state, but generally the requirements include:

  • Needing assistance with ADLs
  • Being unable to get around without assistance
  • Being unable to get in and out of bed without assistance

Typical Assisted Living Age Range

Our older years are often thought to be a beckon toward assisted living, and yes, many residents are in their 70s, 80s, or beyond. But the definition of “senior” is evolving, and so too are the people who enjoy assisted living. There’s a growing population of vibrant individuals in their 50s, 60s, and 70s seeking the enhanced lifestyle and assistance with daily tasks these communities provide.

Exceptions & Considerations

Lifespans are as diverse as the people living them. Health, family support, and emotional well-being are crucial considerations that sometimes trump chronological age. Someone who is 65 but has complex health needs might be a more likely candidate for assisted living than someone who is 80. It’s all about individual circumstances.

Health & Mobility Factors

Personal health, mobility, and a person’s desire for assistance with daily needs can be key factors to consider for assisted living. In some cases, specific assessments might be required or recommended to help determine a person’s eligibility.

Physical & Cognitive Health Assessments

Comprehensive evaluations can be common when assessing a move to assisted living. With these assessments, medical professionals gauge an individual’s capacity for self-care, medication management, and overall well-being.

Cognitive screenings can also play a critical role, as safety and quality of life can hinge on mental acuity. A senior dealing with dementia or some form of cognitive decline may benefit more by choosing a memory care community.

Mobility Limitations & Assistance Needs

The reality is that mobility needs can shift like proverbial sands over time. Difficulty with walking, balance, and activities such as dressing and grooming can signal a need for the support that assisted living can provide.

It’s important to find a community that offers the kind of support you or your loved one needs for mobility. Those who can move around on their own with a cane or walker may need a different form of support than someone who wants more help getting from place to place.

Social & Emotional Needs

Lost in the discussion of numbers and assessments is the emotional landscape of the decision to move into assisted living. Loneliness, social interactions, and the intangible benefits of community life are crucial considerations. Social and emotional needs are less of a “qualification” and more of an indication that some form of a senior living community can be a good next step.

Loneliness & Senior Health

Loneliness can be common among seniors, and research indicates that it can be tied to an increased risk of dementia and other chronic health problems. Assisted living communities can counteract this loneliness by offering a supportive environment ripe for forging new relationships and fostering a sense of belonging.

A group of older adults sitting around a table, eating and enjoying afternoon tea while smiling and chatting with each other

Navigating the Path to Living Well

The decision to transition to assisted living doesn’t have to be uncertain. Older adults and their families can confidently move forward by understanding the potential qualifications a community may require. Seeking professional advice can also be a key step in the process, allowing for a personalized roadmap that respects the unique elements of your life.Contact us today at The Legacy at Forest Ridge to learn more. Our team can answer all your questions about whether our community is right for you or your loved one. We’re happy to book a community tour to show you the quality of life you can expect when you call our community home.

Written by LifeWell

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