As you age, your body goes through many changes, making it a little more difficult to maintain a home and perform basic activities of daily living (ADLs). Assisted living facilities promote healthy aging by providing personal care in a safe, comfortable environment.

Before committing to a specific community, learn more about the levels of care in assisted living. Once you understand these levels of care, you can find an assisted living facility with services tailored to your exact needs.

Understanding the Levels of Care in Assisted Living Communities

Independent Living: The Bridge Between Home and Assisted Living

Assisted living is ideal for seniors who need help with multiple ADLs. If you don’t need that much assistance, consider independent living. This care level gives you access to a safe living environment, but it comes with minimal assistance from staff members. It’s ideal for seniors who need to bridge the gap between home and an assisted living facility.

Basic Support: Enhancing Daily Living for Residents

To help residents maintain their health, many assisted living facilities offer medication management, which involves monitoring residents to make sure they take their medications as scheduled. A staff member may also help residents open their prescription bottles or get medications out of blister packs.

Assisted living also gives residents access to help with daily tasks, including bathing, grooming and getting dressed. This type of long-term care allows residents to maintain as much of their independence as possible without sacrificing their physical or emotional health.

Moderate Care: Meeting the Evolving Needs of Residents

For seniors who need occasional help, the first two assisted living levels of care are ideal. Some people need a higher level of care, however, which is why assisted living facilities are designed to meet the specific needs of each resident. In this type of senior living facility, trained professionals provide hands-on assistance and regular supervision, ensuring residents have access to whatever they need to thrive.

Enhanced Assisted Living: Comprehensive Personal Care

Many seniors benefit from the care provided at Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 of assisted living, but some need more comprehensive personal care. To accommodate these residents, a senior living community may provide skilled nursing care or extra support for residents with cognitive challenges.

Skilled nursing facilities provide around-the-clock medical care, making them ideal for residents with chronic health conditions. Staff members also assist residents with activities of daily living and encourage them to socialize with each other as often as possible.

Memory Care Units: Specialized Care for People with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Memory care facilities provide specialized support for residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive challenges. Like other levels of care, memory care gives residents access to trained caregivers. Memory care facilities also have security features designed to keep residents safe.

Evaluating Assisted Living Facilities: A Comprehensive Checklist

An image representing assisted living residents need varying levels of assisted living

Safety and Environment: Ensuring a Secure Haven

Maryland requires every assisted living facility to maintain a license and undergo periodic inspections by the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality. When you visit a senior living community, ask to see the results of the facility’s most recent inspection. This can help you determine if the facility offers a safe environment for residents.

Staff Expertise: The Role of Trained Staff Members

A facility’s staff-to-resident ratio indicates how many residents are assigned to each caregiver. Although Maryland doesn’t have a minimum staff-to-resident ratio, it’s important to look for a community that has several trained staff members available during each shift.

Services and Amenities: Beyond Basic Support

Once you understand the levels of care in assisted living, it’s important to learn more about additional services and amenities. Assisted living communities offer a wide range of services, such as laundry, housekeeping and meal preparation. You may even find a community with a beauty salon, game room, movie theater or private dining room.

Cost Considerations: Navigating the Financial Aspects of Assisted Living

Understanding Assisted Living Costs Across Levels

In 2021, assisted living cost an average of $4,500 per month in the United States. The cost of care depends on several factors, such as the level of care needed, the location of the community and the number of amenities available. Seniors paid an average of $7,908 per month for skilled nursing care, a significant increase over the average cost of assisted living.

Financial Planning: Making Assisted Living Affordable

If you’re concerned about paying for assisted living, you have several funding options:

  • Medicare: Medicare doesn’t pay for room and board at an assisted living facility, but it may pay for some of the medically necessary services you receive.
  • Medicaid: Many states have Medicaid waiver programs, some of which cover the cost of assisted living services.
  • Social Security: If you receive Social Security retirement benefits, you can use some of the funds to pay for assisted living. You may also be able to use Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to cover some of your expenses.
  • Retirement income: Talk with your financial planner about using funds from your 401(k), IRA, pension or other retirement account to cover some of your assisted living costs.5

Chesapeake Manor’s Dedication to Quality Assisted Living Care

Embracing a Vision for Personalized Care

At Chesapeake Manor, we’re dedicated to providing personalized care. When you move to our elegant assisted living community, you can rest easy knowing we have staff available 24 hours per day to attend to your needs.

Discover the Chesapeake Difference

Chesapeake Manor offers multiple levels of care, including assisted living, memory care and respite care. Schedule a tour to find out what sets us apart from other assisted living facilities in Maryland.

Finding the Best Assisted Living Facility for Your Loved One

No two seniors have exactly the same needs, so it’s important to understand the levels of care in assisted living. Once you know more about each level of care, talk with your family members about your options. They can help you make an informed decision, making it easier to maintain your health and well-being.