By Tracy Walter | Monte Vista Village
They’re all ambiguous terms. Many times I receive phone calls asking for “assisted living.” At Monte Vista Village, this would usually be someone who relies on a walker or wheelchair and their needs could include any or all of the following: bathing, dressing, medications, grooming and a one-person assist if needed help getting out of a chair, bed or help in the bathroom and needs staff available 24 hrs/day. That’s along with the basic meals, housekeeping, laundry, linens and cable tv. Wow! Do you or the person you’re shopping for really need all that help? Many times the caller says “Oh no! I’m just looking for meals and housekeeping- that type of thing”. In that case we need to discuss “independent living.”
Doctors often use the term “assisted living” for any type of senior living because they’re not aware of the differences. This could put a real hex on the idea of leaving your house because you don’t need help, right? When a doctor recommends assisted living and you think all is well, ask the doctor, how will that benefit me? Many people think they’re managing just fine at home, but wouldn’t mind getting rid of the burden a house can become. They mention this to their doctor and the doctor says, why don’t you move to an assisted living? Meanwhile, you picture someone helping you dress or people in wheelchairs. So you shut down. Terminology can be very important when broaching the subject of a lifestyle change.
Best thing to do? When talking to a community, start your conversation by asking, does your community lean more towards independent living, assisted living, or do you have both? If they say they have both, ask, are the levels of living mixed together or in separate areas? This last question tends to be more important for independent folks than assisted living folks.
A good indicator of who needs assisted living is usually someone who relies on a walker, wheelchair or scooter to get around, needs some kind of personal help and staff in the building 24hrs/day could be helpful.
For information on the various levels of living read my January article titled “What does buying a car and shopping for a senior community have in common?”
We’re always happy to help with the process here at Monte Vista Village. For further information, please call (619) 465-1331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also invite you to visit our website at www.montevistavillage.com.