The Scoop on Senior Living

Understanding the Three Levels of Care of Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are often confused with nursing homes, yet they are very different. Both provide different levels of care, and it’s important to understand this as you research options for your aging parent or loved one.

The Ohio Assisted Living Association reports more than 575 licensed assisted living communities provide housing and services to more than 30,000 individuals in the state. The average age of a resident is 84 and the population is primarily female.

According to the National Center for Assisted Living, assisted living is part of a continuum of long-term care services that provide a combination of housing, personal care services and health care designed to respond to individuals who need assistance with normal daily activities in a way that promotes maximum independence.

It’s common that residents in assisted living communities live in their own apartments and may share common areas. They have access to services but may not need them daily. Such services may include, but are not limited to meals, personal care, housekeeping services and medications.

Nursing homes are also known as skilled nursing facilities and focus more on medical care with 24-hour supervision, all meals and assistance with everyday activities, reports the National Institute on Aging. According to the Ohio Department of Health, some 960 nursing homes are certified across the state of Ohio.

If assisted living is the right option for your aging parent or loved one, it’s important to understand there are three levels of care provided within assisted living. The levels of care impact the cost of services and, of course, you don’t want to overpay. Be sure to ask the assisted living provider if there are additional costs for the various levels of care and what your loved one is receiving for each level.

Three Levels of Care in Assisted Living

Assisted living communities with 17 or more individuals are regulated by The Ohio Department of Health under the classification of Residential Care Facility, or RCF. Per state regulations, each RCF is licensed to provide care at one of three levels.

Level One is the lowest level of care. The resident is largely independent and only requires occasional supervision and assistance to perform daily activities.

Level Two is a moderate level of care, in which the resident needs more support with daily activities, like taking medication. However other activities may require limited support.

With the highest level of care, Level Three, the resident needs comprehensive assistance with daily living activities. For example, while they still may be physically independent, the staff is involved in monitoring activities such as taking medications.

The Youngstown market features a wide range of senior care services, and many assisted livings are licensed only to provide a certain level of care. For example, the five assisted living communities that Windsor House owns and operates are licensed to provide all three levels of care.

At Windsor House, staff assistance is available 24 hours a day to provide personal care services to residents who need help with daily activities. Attendants can provide assistance with dressing, grooming, mobility and management of medications.

Daily activities, social and recreational programs keep residents physically and emotionally active. Standard amenities provided include meals and snacks, housekeeping, laundry service for linens and personal clothing, select transportation and an emergency call system.

Windsor House’s assisted living communities feature common rooms and residential apartments or apartment-like units with a kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator, private bathroom with shower and wall-to-wall carpeting.

Windsor House hopes this information is helpful as you research options for your parent’s long-term care plan. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at 330 545 1550 or visit WindsorHouseInc.com.

Windsor House Inc. is a family owned and operated health care provider that has been serving residents of the Mahoning Valley for 60 years. The company owns and operates twelve nursing homes and five assisted living communities in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. To learn more, visit WindsorHouseInc.com, or follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.