What Is Assisted Living
Assisted living is a way of life that allows you to remain independent, even though you may need help with some of your daily tasks such as:
- Bathing and personal hygiene
- Preparing meals
- Managing medications
- Getting back and forth to places like doctor's appointments
What Does an Assisted Living Community Look Like?
Assisted living communities come in various sizes and layouts and offer different types of residences. Accommodations can range from small bedrooms to lavishly outfitted apartments and detached homes.
Assisted living communities may be separate communities or they may be part of a larger senior community that offers other levels of care, such as independent living, memory care, or skilled nursing care, for example.
They are typically located in or near residential or urban areas, which means residents can feel like they are part of the overall neighborhood, community and county or city where they live.
What's it Like to Live There?
Depending on the type of residence you choose, you can still remain fairly independent while living in an assisted living community. For example, if you live in an apartment equipped with a kitchen, you can still cook some of your meals if that's something you enjoy doing. Meals are usually included in your monthly charges so you can also opt to take your meals in common dining areas, or have your meals delivered to your room when you don't feel like going out.
Housekeeping and maintenance are also typically included in the monthly fees, plus laundry, utilities and transportation. You will also get a helping hand with daily tasks as needed, such as with taking a bath or keeping up with your medications.
There are usually lots of scheduled activities ranging from yoga to painting classes. And you can choose to participate in as many of these as you'd like as often as you'd like. It's really up to you. You also have the freedom to continue to pursue many of your own unique hobbies and interests.
There are usually lots of opportunities to socialize with other residents. You can also feel safe as most assisted living communities provide around-the-clock security. And you have the peace of mind knowing that help is nearby if you need it.
Is Assisted Living Right for Me?
Consider these statements below to determine if they describe you:
- I am still relatively healthy.
- I like having my own living space.
- I like being independent.
- I am willing to move to a smaller home, or am unable to stay in my current home.
- I prefer to live on my own, or do not have a relative or friend with whom I can live.
- I no longer feel safe in my home.
- I feel isolated in my home.
- I need help getting in and out of the bathtub or taking a bath or shower.
- I need help getting dressed.
- I need assistance with personal grooming.
- I get my medicines mixed up or can't remember when to take them.
- I can no longer cook or need help preparing meals.
- I can no longer drive or can only drive very short distances.
- I do not have family or friends nearby if I need help with daily tasks.
- If most or all of the above Independence and Daily Living statements apply to you, and you do not need regular nursing or medical care, then assisted living may be a good option for you.
- If most or all of the above Independence and Daily Living statements apply to you, and you also need regular nursing or medical care, then consider these options:
- Skilled nursing care if you can't stay in your home
- Medical home health care If you want to stay in your home
- If all or most of the Independence statements apply to you, but not the Daily Living statements, then consider these options:
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities
- Independent living
- Active adult homes
- Senior apartments
What to Expect from Assisted Living?
Most facilities have a group dining area and common areas where you can socialize with other residents. They also offer lots of activities that are good for your body and mind. These include activities like:
- Wii Bowling
- Movie nights
- Live performances
You can still remain as close as you want with your family while in assisted living. External doors are usually locked at a certain time each night for security; however, family can usually visit any time. There are no set visiting hours. Family members and close friends can even visit you at night after the doors are locked if you've provided them with a key to get in the building, at most communities. Some communities also allow you to have a pet as long as you are still able to care for it.
There are basic services which are typically included in your monthly fees. These often include your meals, utilities, housekeeping, laundry service and transportation.
You usually have the option of paying for additional services as you need them. These are sometimes called a la carte services because you only pay for what you need. These may vary slightly by community, but they typically include services such as medication management, physical therapy and skilled nursing care.
Costs of assisted living can vary greatly depending on:
- Community location and amenities
- Type and size of residence
- Location of the residence within the community
- Other factors
Introduction to Indianapolis, Indiana and Surrounding Areas
Indianapolis, the largest city in Indiana and its state capital, is located in the center of the state on the White River. Settled in 1820, "Indy" was incorporated as a city in 1832 and saw tremendous growth with the advent of railroads in the 1840s and the automobile industry at the turn of the century. Today, Indianapolis is the twelfth-largest city in the United States, with a steadily-growing population of around 800,000 and a strong, diverse economy supported by manufacturing, agriculture and the service industries. Leading employers in the area include electronics, pharmaceuticals, publishing, food processing and insurance companies. Indianapolis is one of the busiest convention centers in the country.
Cultural attractions in Indianapolis are plentiful. Some of the finest art and artifact collections in the country can be seen at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art and at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The latter is set on 52-acre grounds with the restored mansion of J.K. Lilly Jr., surrounded by beautiful gardens. The city is also home to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indiana Repertory Theatre and Indianapolis Civic Theatre.
Indianapolis Sports and Leisure
The NBA's Indiana Pacers (18,000-seat Conseco Fieldhouse) and the NFL's Indianapolis Colts (56,000-seat RCA dome) bring major league sports to downtown Indianapolis. Other pro teams include the Fever (WNBA), the Indians (minor league baseball), the Firebirds (Arena Football) and Blast (USL soccer), but the area is best known as the home of the Indianapolis 500 road race and a hotbed of college basketball. A few miles west of downtown, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) packs in more than 250,000 spectators each Memorial Day weekend for the Indy 500, a tradition since 1911. The IMS also houses a Hall of Fame Museum and part of a golf course. Within an hour's drive are perennial NCAA basketball tournament powerhouses Indiana, Indiana State and Purdue. Within a 2-hour drive are Notre Dame, Louisville and Cincinnati.
There's a lot to do in the Indiana outdoors. Brown County Park, just 46 miles away in Nashville (IN), is Indiana's largest park, offering 12 miles of hiking trails, cabins and camping facilities, horseback riding, and great lakes for fishing. A 2-hour drive away, the Falls of Ohio State Park on the Ohio River in Clarksville offers fishing, hiking and 386-million-year-old fossils, which can be viewed when the Ohio River recedes in early autumn.
Indianapolis at Night
There's always something going on at night downtown; another popular area about a mile away is Fountain Square, a renovated factory loaded with shops, restaurants, bowling alleys and a theatre. Although Indianapolis doesn't have the large student population of comparably sized cities, it has many huge colleges within a reachable radius. Indianapolis ranks among the cleanest, safest, most affordable and easiest-to-get-to cities, making it easy to get-to-know.
Indianapolis ranked #6 on BestJobsUsa.com's 2002 list of the Best Places to Live and Work in America and #27 on the Forbes 2004 list of the Best Cities for Singles.