The Complete Resource Guide to Finding Assisted Living

There comes a time when a senior relative or friend needs some help with activities of daily living (ADLs). While he or she may be independent and highly functional in several ways, a supportive environment would better meet the personal needs of the senior while promoting self-sufficiency and independence.

Assisted Living in Atlanta is the answer for many. But since variations exist among senior living options, there are numerous factors to consider and many questions to ask.

What is Assisted Living in Atlanta?

Assisted Living Atlanta is a choice among several senior living options that provides housing, utilities, meals, social opportunities and personal care services such as assistance with medications, eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, and transfers.

Atlanta Assisted Living should be considered for those who do not need 24-hour medical care and supervision of a skilled nursing facility but need more personal care assistance than found in an Independent Living community.

Though medications are self-administered, the typical assisted living community in Atlanta has experienced, proxy-trained and licensed staff onsite who assist with the disbursement of medications and perform other non-medical services the resident may require.

In Georgia, communities with 25 beds or more may be licensed either as a Personal Care Home (PCH) or as an Assisted Living Community (ALC). These communities range from converted residential homes and buildings to expansive residential communities. Many provide the homelike atmosphere of an apartment with kitchenettes while others offer bedrooms – some private, others shared.

What are the services offered in Atlanta Assisted Living Communities?

In general, a reputable Atlanta Assisted Living Community should offer one or more of the following:

  • Personal assistance with bathing, toileting, dressing, eating, and transfers
  • Housekeeping services including cleaning and laundry
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner served in a group dining room
  • Medication management
  • 24 hour security and emergency call systems located in each residence
  • Wellness programs, exercise, social and recreational activities
  • Transportation for shopping, medical appointments etc.
  • Round-the-clock onsite staff to assist with any unplanned need

Atlanta Assisted Living Communities must staff according to the minimal requirements set forth by the Department of Community Health. It is a good idea to ask what the resident-to-caregiver ratio is in an Assisted Living Atlanta Community for the day shift and the night shift.

What criteria might signal the need for an Assisted Living Community?

Though not always apparent, the need for more help may manifest itself in various ways:

  • The senior feels depressed or isolated
  • Taking care of oneself has become more challenging with personal hygiene declining
  • Difficulty maintaining upkeep of the home and yard
  • Falls becoming frequent with bruising or balance issues
  • Weight loss, eating difficulties or food spoilage increasing
  • Forgetfulness or missed medications
  • Unable to drive/limited transportation availability

If the senior is able to ambulate (independently or with minimal assistance of another or with a device like a cane, walker or wheelchair) and can bear weight, Assisted Living is likely the proper level of care. Assisted Living is not the same as a nursing home; it is considered an intermediate level of care – between independent living and skilled nursing care. Individuals with more advanced medical needs, who require round-the-clock care and supervision, should be considered for a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF).

What should be anticipated when deciding on an Assisted living in atlanta?

Making the decision to move into an Atlanta Assisted Living Community is often clouded by a myriad of emotions. For the senior moving into Assisting Living, it represents a significant lifestyle change and perhaps a feeling of losing independence. For those who helped make the decision, feelings of anxiety, guilt and even fear may arise and engender questions such as “Are we making the right choice with this community?” “Will all her needs be met here?” “Will he have a good quality of life in this community?”

    What are the costs associated with Assisted Living Communities?

    Cost is a major consideration since the expenses are out-of-pocket, commonly known as private pay. Medicare and other government health insurances, including Medicaid, do not cover the expenses of Assisted Living. In Georgia, there are Medicaid waiver programs such as SOURCE and CCSP that provide some payment to residential personal care homes based on specific health and financial requirements of the individual. If the individual has long term care insurance, the policy should specify how much of it will cover assisted living based on a daily rate and time period. Assisted Living Communities offer several pricing models:

    • All-Inclusive
    • Base rent plus level of care
    • Multi-Tiered
    • Points System
    • A-La-Carte

    Choosing the right Assisted Living Atlanta Community can be a complex process. Given the sheer volume of Assisted Living Communities in Atlanta, making the proper choice will involve considerable research, time, and personally visiting properties.

      Is there a resource that will help Individuals navigate through this process?

      Atlanta Senior Advocates represents families, seniors and decision makers in exploring all viable assisted living options and provides information and guidance so that the most suitable community for the individual is carefully selected. This is a FREE service.

      Why is this service important? Atlanta Senior Advocates understands the various levels of care provided in the State of Georgia. We know what criteria to examine and what questions to ask of the communities. With a clearly defined understanding of the needs of the individual measured against this detailed set of community data and information, an informed decision may be reached by all involved.

      For example:

      • We assure that the community or Personal Care Home possesses the proper licensure
      • We examine state survey reports to determine care or staffing violations or abuse allegations
      • We visit communities at different times of day to assess the overall environment
      • We evaluate staffing levels to assure that there is an appropriate staff-to-resident ratio.
      • We get a sense of how happy the residents are in the community
      • We assess the overarching cleanliness within the community
      • We research the activities and social programs in the community to determine the fit for the individual
      • We compare the community to others with similar profiles and offer guidance on pricing options

      As a result of this extensive analysis and review, we provide decision makers all the salient points and details necessary to make an informed decision.

      Moving into an Assisted Living Community is a decision that requires careful consideration and planning and one that should not be made lightly. The long term happiness of the individual, and of those assisting with the decision, is dependent upon a sound and comprehensive approach to identifying the community that is best equipped and positioned to provide care in a safe and secure manner within a homelike and supportive setting.