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Assisted Living Communities Growing in Los Angeles

Updated on June 19, 2013
Assisted living communities provide both independence and help needed.
Assisted living communities provide both independence and help needed.

Assisted living is a quickly growing sector of senior housing in Southern California. If you or a loved one live in the Los Angeles area and find yourself needing assistance with day-to-day activities there is a large selection of assisted living community options to choose from. As you begin you search, it is important to understand that the term "assisted living" covers a wide range of services. It includes basics like meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation, and help with personal hygiene. In some cases medical care can be included in this list if services, but don't assume medical care is included. Administering skilled nursing services requires special licensing. In the same way "community" conveys a group of people, and when it comes to assisted living communities they can be small or large.

Types of Assisted Living Communities

Assisted living communities are the largest growing sector of senior housing in California. That's because the term "assisted living" works as an umbrella for a variety of types of senior care communities and in-home care. The following list identifies the different types of assisted living communities in Los Angles and elsewhere in California:

  • Adult congregate living care: This is another name for a retirement home.
  • Adult foster care: A licensed family setting for seniors and other adults who need physical help, memory care, or have other needs that make them unable to live alone. Adult foster care provides around-the-clock care.
  • Board and care: Provides a small family-like community a residential setting. Also known as adult foster care. Usually licensed to care for six people or less at a time.
  • Continuing care communities (also known as CCRCs): Continuing Care Retirement Communities are the perfect choice for seniors who want to live an independent and active lifestyle, but who also want to make provision for assisted living and even medical care in the future as they age. This care is sometimes called Lifecare, and is a popular choice among seniors because it's all located in one community.
  • Residential care: Same as board and care or adult foster care.
  • Retirement residences: Some retirement communities offer assisted living as well as independent living and in some cases even specialized services such as memory care.

Benefits of an Assisted Living Community

Assisted living communities offer independence and privacy, but also the assistance needed to make daily life easier, more enjoyable, and safer. Larger communities offer small apartment style rooms and have a common area where meals are eaten. This community setting also provides opportunities for socializing and often includes walking paths ideal for getting some fresh air and enjoying the outdoors. Transportation is also provided for doctor appointments, as well as other appointments, shopping trips, and scheduled outings. While many seniors balk at the idea of moving into assisted living, once they've made the change most of them regret they didn't make the move sooner.

Pay a Visit

Once you understand the nuances related to assisted living facilities, the next step is to visit the facilities you're considering. Visiting a senior home or community offers a first-hand view of what can be expected. While scheduling an appointment to visit is a good first step, it is also wise to pay a second visit unannounced. A surprise followup allows you to compare what you witnessed during the two visits to garner an accurate picture of daily life in that particular community.

A Balancing Act

Finding the right assisted living community in Los Angeles is a subjective process. For those looking for a family setting, a smaller residential care community may be what you're looking for. Others may need to look for a community that offers skilled nursing care, and for others cost of care will play a role because assisted living services are most often paid with private funds. The one thing they all have in common is 24 hour care, supervision, meals, and specialized help as needed.

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