Frequently Asked Questions About Assisted Living

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Q: What is assisted living?

A: An assisted living residence is for seniors who no longer desire to live alone, who don’t want the burden or responsibility of living in their own homes, or who are no longer able to live alone but don’t require 24-hour, intensive medical care. For a monthly fee, assisted living residences generally offer housing, ranging from studio apartments to one and two bedroom apartments, as well as meals served in a common dining room, personal care assistance, health and medication monitoring, 24-hour emergency response, housekeeping and social and recreational programs.

Q: How do assisted living residences differ from independent living residences?

A: Independent living residences generally do not include a full meal plan, personal assistance, health monitoring, etc. as part of the monthly fee. Some supportive services may be available at an additional cost.

Q: How is assisted living different from a nursing home?

A:  Assisted living residences offer a home-like environment for people who do not require 24-hour complex medical care. Residents in RI assisted living facilities usually maintain a relatively high degree of independence and privacy in their own apartments.

Q: Who should consider RI assisted living?

A:  Assisted living is a bridge between total independent living and the need for skilled nursing care. The environment is safe, secure, and supportive. It is most appropriate for seniors who wish to maintain a high degree of independence, but may need some help with bathing, dressing, medications, transportation and other assistance. For people whose social life has become limited, assisted living makes it easy and enjoyable to be with other people and to participate in a wide variety of activities. Many assisted living residences also offer separate, secure areas with specialized programs for people in the early to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Q: What are the benefits of assisted living?

A:  Assisted living provides a safe, secure home-like environment and relieves the resident of many of the responsibilities of home ownership and living alone. Families receive the peace of mind of knowing that their loved ones are in a safe environment where professionals monitor their medications, diet and general health and well-being. Residents, freed of many of their worries, are able to enjoy a better quality of life while remaining independent. With better health and dietary oversight and opportunities for socialization and recreation, residents often become more active, happier and more socially connected than they have been in years.

Q: Are RI assisted living residences licensed?

A:  In Rhode Island, assisted living residences are licensed by the Department of Health and must follow stringent regulations.