Assisted Living facilities are designed to help people who have special needs and cannot live alone, but do not require the extensive care provided in a nursing home facility. Assisted living facilities usually do not have a nursing staff available around the clock like traditional nursing homes, but there are trained staff on site at all times to provide needed services such as changing sheets, laundry service, and meal preparations.
There are various living arrangements available when looking for an assisted living facility. Some are home settings designed to meet the needs of as little as three residents and can range to as big as a medical center set up to accommodate hundreds of residents at one time. Some facilities offer residents the opportunity to have a private apartment that is self contained where residents have their own bedroom, bathroom, living area and small kitchen. Others offer individual living spaces that resemble a dormitory or hotel room setting with a shared bathroom and central dining area.
Independent Living Centers are designed to help residents gain the skills necessary to live on their own. While the majority of the residents have some form of disability, more elderly residents are choosing this alternative living arrangement due to the fear of living alone or to regain the skills necessary to return home after an injury or illness. Some of the issues that Independent Living centers help residents with include finding housing assistance, personal assistance to return home, or legal aid.
Alternatives to living in an Independent Living Center include classes that can help individuals who are living with families or in a institution learn the skills necessary to make preparations to live by themselves.