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Statistically, an assisted living resident needs assistance with an average of three ADLs.
A typical assisted living facility resident would usually be a senior citizen man or a woman who does not need the intensive care of a nursing home but prefers more companionship and needs some assistance in day-to-day living. Age groups will vary with every facility.
may assist in arranging the appropriate medical, health, and dental care services for each resident. The resident generally chooses his or her medical doctor and dental services.
Residents who have periods of temporary incapacity due to illness, injury, or recuperation from surgery often are allowed to remain in the residence or to return from a rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility or hospital if appropriate services can be provided by the assisted living residence. It is important to remember that assisted living residences are a bridge between living at home and living in a nursing home. Assisted living residences do not typically provide the level of continuous skilled nursing care found in nursing homes and hospitals.
More recently built facilities are designed with an emphasis on ease of use for disabled people. Bathrooms and kitchens are designed with wheelchairs and walkers in mind. Hallways and doors are extra-wide to accommodate wheelchairs. These facilities are by necessity fully compliant with the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) or similar legislation elsewhere.
The socialization aspects of ALFs are very beneficial to the occupants. Normally the facility has many activities scheduled for the occupants, keeping in mind different disabilities and needs.
Many ALFs also serve the needs of the mentally ill community, primarily people with some form of dementia including Alzheimer's, but also others as long as they do not present an imminent danger to themselves or others. In the United States, legislation enacted by each state defines not only the level of care, but often what conditions are prohibited from being cared for in such a home.