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|Florida Assisted Living - Frequently Asked Questions|
The following represents a list of questions that are frequently asked regarding assisted living, financing options, and our services. Please use these answers as a general guideline. While we have tried to answer them completely, many situations are unique and require a more in depth conversation with one of our search specialists to answer specifically about your situation.
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What is Assisted Living and how is it different from a nursing home?
An Assisted Living Facility is licensed by the state of Florida and provides help to the residents with their activities of daily living or ADL's. These ADL's can include dressing, grooming, bathing, toileting, supervision of medications, and three meals a day plus snacks. In addition, an ALF provides transportation to and from medical appointments as well as arranges social activities and outings. The key difference between an ALF and a nursing home is that an ALF is not allowed to provide complex nursing care or actual administration of medications. Some ALF's are set-up to handle Alzheimer's and Dementia residents while others are not.
How do I know if it's time for me to look at assisted living?
The answer to this question is as unique as each individual person and their needs. Typically, the move to assisted living is based on a person's need for some help with activities of daily living. Since there are a variety of assisted living facilities and service offerings, it can also be an option for family members that are out of the area who want their loved one to have someone around to help them if need be and in a safe environment.
What options do I have when choosing an Assisted Living Facility?
Assisted Living facilities vary in size, price, and services offered so you have a wide variety of choices in where and how you would like to live. From small converted homes in neighborhoods with six beds to large high-rise towers having multiple floors, there are ALF's in Florida to suit just about everyone. Pricing typically ranges from $950/month to over $3000/month depending on the facility, activity, and services offered. Be assured that there is a facility and service offerings to meet everyone's budget and needs.
Do Assisted Living Facilities need to be licensed?
Yes. ALF's are licensed by the State of Florida based on a variety of criteria that each facility must meet. These licenses are for the quantity of residents they are allowed to care for within a given facility. The number of beds licensed is based on the facility size, staffing, and other requirements. ALL FACILITIES IN THE STATE MUST BE LICENSED and these licenses are renewed each year.
How can I tell which facility is right for me?
Deciding which facility is right for you can be a challenge since there are so many to choose from in Florida and each is unique in it's own right. Because there are so many options, we suggest that you first decide where in Florida you want to live and then work from there. Ultimately you will want to look at how much help you may need each day, the financial considerations of each facility, and what type of activities you like to do to stay busy. We can help you by discussing the various options you may need and compare that to what facilities are available in the area you would like to live.
Will I have to move from the ALF if my medical needs change?
This really depends on where you initially choose to live and their ability to care for you as your needs change. Since we are staffed by medical professionals, we take your condition into consideration when recommending a number of facilities. We look at the potential long term needs of each individual based on a known condition today and attempt to find facilities that will be able to handle upcoming needs in the future. This minimizes the chance that anyone will have to move from their existing ALF into another one and disturb their lifestyle, comfort level, and social activities.
My Mom has limited income, are there any supplemental programs from the state or federal government?
The government does offer some funding which is administered by the state to low income individuals who may need the services of an assisted living residence. These programs require that applications be filled out describing the medical condition of the person along with any retirement income and other potential sources of money they may have. All of this information is taken into consideration to help justify the need for supplemental funding. The state then reviews these applications and acceptance/denial typically takes anywhere from 60-120 days.
What are the visitation policies for ALF's and can we take our grandmother with us on vacation if we choose?
Visitation policies vary from facility to facility, but they basically have an open door policy at any time. You should view an ALF just as you would your own home and people may come to visit you at any time of the day and stay as long as they like. With regards to vacations, people are certainly able to leave the facility to take trips (either day trips or longer term vacations) with family and friends, however, most facilities require that you sign out when you leave and let them know when you will be returning.
Are there Assisted Living Facilities for younger residents?
While the majority of ALF's cater to the senior population, there are a few that provide assisted living to a younger population. These are difficult to find, so give us a call so we can discuss what you may be looking for and what may be available in your area.
My Mom needs some help caring for my Dad, and they would still like to live together. Are there any facilities that cater to couples?
Most of the facilities will cater to having couples live together at the facility even if only one actually needs the services that an ALF can provide. There are also larger facilities which have a variety of options for a couple where one or both may need a little help with activities of daily living. Give us a call to discuss what you are looking for and we will be happy to help.
My Aunt is in perfect health, but she lives alone and we'd like her to be able to interact with people her own age. Are there any "transitional" facilities that offer an unsupervised environment with assisted living services as needed?
Yes. These facilities are commonly referred to as having "aging in place". This is typically a larger facility made up of various buildings or sections of a large building that are dedicated to the various stages of senior living that may be required. The concept is that a person doesn't have to leave their physical environment and friends should their care needs change. While the resident may have to change floors or buildings to accommodate other services, the goal is to keep them within the same community of people and activities that they have become accustomed to.