Assisted living communities bring peace of mind
a woman uses a cord to do arm pull downs as a physical therapist instructs and watches.
For those who don't need complex medical services but still need some help with daily activities, an assisted living home may be a good option.
Kathleen Finn likes having her own room where she can tend to her flower planters and receive visitors, but also enjoys the 24-hour supervision at Lotus Senior Care in Mission Viejo, Calif. "It's a great comfort to know people are really watching you, both mentally and physically," says Finn, 81, who's blind in one eye and uses a wheelchair.
Assisted living settings cost an average of $3,300 a month and can vary from an apartment complex to a group home like Lotus, which offers meals, medication assistance, and activities like crafting and visits from a local animal rescue. "Everyone who comes by, it just picks up your spirits," Finn says. "I don't have many of my faculties left, but my brain is still working."
Dawn Reidy of Wilmington, Mass., says highly rated Windsor Place of Wilmington was a great fit for her 79-year-old father after he broke his neck and was diagnosed with dementia. Staff help him with cleaning and medication, but he maintains some independence. "He can close the door and have a little privacy," says Reidy, who likens it to a "really nice hotel."
Windsor Place is part of a continuing care retirement community, so Reidy says she feels comfortable knowing that if her father's health declines, there's a nursing home on the same campus.
— additional reporting by Staci Giordullo and Meranda Watling