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A Guide to Assisted Living Services and Amenities

Kara Lewis
By Kara LewisAugust 19, 2020
Caregiver helping elderly man walk at an assisted living facility.

Assisted living offers so much more than just an apartment. In fact, many seniors and their families turn to these communities for a host of assisted living services, such as nutritious meals, engaging activities, and personal care.

“The amount of burden it takes off of the resident to not have to manage their life and instead focus on the good things… it’s actually magical,” says Rachel Levy, a social worker and national account manager for A Place for Mom. “That was the part I always loved when I worked in communities.” 

From help with daily living to providing a wide range of social opportunities that ward off senior loneliness, here are some of the main services and amenities of assisted living communities.

Enriching activities: staying social and stimulated

Senior isolation and loneliness stands out as one of the most common and detrimental problems older adults face. Assisted living remedies this with busy calendars that boast everything from cooking classes to enriching volunteer work. In addition to on-site gatherings, communities arrange outings to local museums, concerts, parks, and more.

Activities in assisted living communities strive to promote three main core needs of aging adults:

  • Physical health. Popular physical health activities include walks, tai chi, strength exercises, dances, and yoga.
  • Intellectual stimulation. Common intellectual activities include current events clubs, art classes, book clubs, and computer classes.
  • Social connection. Seniors establish social connections through events like game nights, devotions, happy hours, and karaoke.

According to research in the journal Dementia and Neuropsychologia, staying involved physically, intellectually, and socially acts as a significant defense against cognitive decline.

One goal in assisted living is to offer a social outlet for every resident no matter their interests. Care providers talk to incoming residents and their families about their passions and develop programming accordingly. These conversations also help staff know which activities to encourage a new resident to try.

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Dining Choices: prioritizing taste, health, and convenience

Rather than dealing with the hassles of grocery shopping, cooking, and monitoring nutrition, seniors in assisted living simply visit the dining areas. In addition to a social boost at mealtimes, dining areas give seniors access to delicious, nutrient-packed dishes.

Assisted living providers employ culinary experts, including a chef and registered dietitian. At Sunrise Senior Living, which encompasses hundreds of communities, favorites include: Greek salad, crab cakes, green beans amandine, and herb-roasted chicken.

Meals in assisted living communities may include:

  • Three chef-prepared meals a day
  • A variety of entrees, side dishes, and desserts to choose from
  • Nutrients and ingredients from every food group
  • Fresh fruit, healthy snacks, and drinks available any time
  • Weekly menus posted in advance
  • The option to invite family members and other guests to meals
  • The option to select a special meal plan, accounting for diabetic, fortified, low-sodium, and high-fiber diets

Security features: enhancing senior safety 24/7

Are you or your senior loved one having trouble managing senior safety risks at home? One of the most important assisted living services is on-site staffing 24 hours, seven days a week, to handle emergencies any day or time. Additional safety features include:

  • Wide doorways
  • Clearly marked and alarmed exits
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Handrails and grab bars
  • Stair lifts
  • Elevators
  • Zero-threshold showers

Trained caregivers: helping with dressing, bathing, mobility, and more

The staff at an assisted living community play a crucial role in helping your loved one feel safe, supported, and happy. Nurses and caregivers receive ongoing elder-care training. They help seniors with activities of daily living (ADLs) as needed while aiming to enable a resident to be as independent as possible.

Depending on you or your senior loved one’s needs, caregivers may provide support with:

  • Bathing and showering
  • Dressing
  • Mobility
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Medication management

On-site amenities: promoting pampering and relaxation

A soothing change of scenery is never far in assisted living, with multiple rooms and creative spaces to uplift residents’ moods. Depending on the community, these could include:

  • Beauty salon and barbershop
  • Movie theater
  • Game room
  • Library
  • Communal garden and/or courtyard
  • Bar
  • Porches, patios, and/or sunrooms
  • Fitness center
  • Woodworking shop
  • Art studio
  • Billiards
  • Chapel
  • Large event space

Housekeeping, laundry, and maintenance: eliminating chores to reduce senior stress

Nearly all assisted living communities include housekeeping with rent. For seniors, the following services empower them to focus on their  health and well-being:

  • Vacuuming
  • Dusting
  • Bed-making
  • Bathroom cleaning
  • Laundry
  • General apartment maintenance and beautification

Learn more about assisted living

If your aging loved one would enjoy or benefit from these assisted living services, reach out to A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors to explore the best options near you.

Kara Lewis
Author
Kara Lewis

Kara Lewis is a content writer at A Place for Mom. She’s worked in writing, editing, and creative strategy for several years, most recently at Andrews McMeel Universal, Hallmark, and Gannett Media. Her writing has appeared in Bustle, Alma, and The Kansas City Star, among other outlets. She has won awards for digitally conscious journalism, investigative reporting, magazine writing, and poetry.

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