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 Lynchburg, Virginia and Surrounding Areas
Lynchburg is an independent city (meaning a city not belonging to a county) located in central Virginia, near the cities of Roanoke, Danville, and Charlottesville. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city is situated approximately 180 miles southwest of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Principal highways in the city include U.S. Route 29, 221, 460, and 501.
Incorporated as a town in 1805 and as a city in 1852, Lynchburg got its name from its founder, John Lynch, who was granted a charter in 1786 by the Virginia General Assembly for a town on 45 acres of his own land. The 19th century saw prosperity for Lynchburg, a center of manufacturing and commerce whose principal industry was tobacco. The onset of the 20th century brought a change in Lynchburg's economic base from tobacco to manufacturing. A large number of factories opened, many of which remained cornerstones of the economy for many years, allowing the city to grow and diversify. Colleges, libraries, and housing developments slowly populated the town over the years, to the point where today's Lynchburg is a vibrant community with a strong industrial base and is a regional center for retail and commerce.
Known as the "City of Seven Hills" (College Hill, Garland Hill, Daniel's Hill, Federal Hill, Diamond Hill, White Rock Hill, and Franklin Hill), Lynchburg was frequented often by Thomas Jefferson, who maintained a nearby residence (Poplar Forest). The city is home to several colleges and universities, including Liberty University, established in the 1980s as Liberty Baptist College by televangelist and Lynchburg resident Jerry Falwell.
Lynchburg Arts, Culture, and Entertainment
Lynchburg's rich history and unspoiled beauty make it a natural setting for a wealth of historical landmarks, cultural events, and recreational activities. Some of the more prominent are as follows:
- Academy of Fine Arts: Houses both an active studio theatre and an historic theatre undergoing renovation
- Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children's Museum: Four spacious floors of interactive exhibitions, workshops and educational programs
- Anne Spencer House and Garden: Honoring the internationally acclaimed poet who was the only black woman and the only Virginian included in the Norton Anthology of Modern American and British Poetry
- Daura Gallery Museum: More than 1,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints
- Legacy Museum of African-American History: Explores all aspects of local African American history and culture
- Liberty University Theater: Located on Liberty University's main campus
- Lynchburg Museum/Old Court House
- Maier Museum of Art
- Miller Claytor House
- Old City Cemetery
- Sandusky Historic Site & Civil War Museum
- South River Meeting House
- The James River Heritage Trail
Although Virginia does not have a major league sports team, the city of Lynchburg is rich in baseball history. Minor League professional baseball has existed here since 1894, when the Lynchburg Hill Climbers brought baseball to the city. The team, which played in the Virginia League until the league disappeared in 1943, underwent some name changes during that time, becoming the Shoemakers, then the Grays, then the Senators. The team moved to the Piedmont League in 1943 and remained there until 1955 as the Lynchburg Cardinals. After a few more league changes and name changes, the team settled down in 1995 as the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League, where they remain to this day. The Hillcats are a class High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.