Source: Not all assisted living facilities are created equal; however, there are some basic services and expectations across the board that a new resident can expect from any assisted living campus. Samuel K. Burlum look at these and the small differences that set some assisted living facilities apart from the rest.

An assisted living facility or residency is the ideal situation for an elderly individual in their golden years that has little or no family to rely upon for assistance with day to day chores or help in maintaining quality their life.  Oftentimes, these senior individuals find themselves unable to do all the same physical tasks they once could complete on their own. This change can prove quite challenging mentally, emotionally and physically. Assisted living campuses are designed to provide the senior resident with some assistance while allowing them to enjoy the freedom of life, such as making their own appointments, shopping, visiting family, and venturing outside the campus, just as they would if they remained in their own home.

There are some basic services an assisted living facility will offer. Unlike a nursing home, much of the residents from an assisted living center have a key element in maintaining their quality of life; mobility. Residents usually find themselves able to still be mobile on and off the campus, even if many no longer drive a car. Most assisted living facilities provide a bus/van service allowing the resident to schedule transportation needs, which is included as part of their monthly rent/lease agreement.

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Assisted living services can include housekeeping and laundry services, as well as prepared meals, which are usually served in a group community dining area. This allows residents an opportunity to socialize and gather together. Apartments are self-contained and grocery services or other types of shopping and errands are also offered. Some services are personalized depending on the needs of the individual resident. The initial intake process will provide the opportunity to make that determination, as well as take into consideration when residents require medication administration and assistance. A nurse can be scheduled to help a resident with these needs. You will not find monitoring or medical equipment in this kind of situation, however, doctors and nurses are just a phone call away.

If a resident has limited mobility, a personal aide can be assigned to them. This aide would help the individual in getting dressed, bathing and escorting the resident to other parts of the campus for meals and activities, or to run light duty errands. This cost can be factored into the custom package for a resident that may be disabled or need just a little extra help.

Assisted living campuses will offer administration services to any individual with regards to exploring all options of benefits the senior may have coming to them and help the senior through whatever the process may be to obtain their benefits. Assisted living administrators cannot administer medicine or legal advice, however, they can redirect those concerns to local professionals in the community that are trained to better serve the senior elder person.

Assisted living facilities will have among other things; community and activity centers such as a gym, movie room, central gathering room, dining facilities, a chapel, a salon or barber shop, post office, small community library, and in some cases a store that carries basic needs for residents (grooming and toiletry items, select food items, some general household items, basic medical items, etc.).

Many assisted living facilities may resemble either a hotel or resort. Some are designed to look like a Main Street fully contained under a roof, or there are even senior housing campuses which have been converted into assisted living centers out of an old hospital or school. Some campuses look like any other block of community housing or apartments. New communities which are the first step to living in an assisted living campus begins with the move or sale of the former family home, where older parents become empty nesters. They often opt to move to an adult community, which requires for residents to be 55 and older, as well as have no children living in the home. These campuses may also have an assisted living facility on campus or nearby.