Services Available in Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living services that are available in home health environments can be slightly different than the services found in assisted living communities. Though many of the services are still the same the way the staff or the community delivers those services may be different. Caregivers in a home health atmosphere may only have one person or a couple to care for. In assisted living a caregiver may have six or more people to care for during the course of an 8 hour work shift. If you are considering an assisted living community, here are some things to consider about the services available in those communities.
The first noticeable difference between housekeeping services offered in a community and services offered in home health environment is when you notice who handles the housekeeping. In a home health environment the caregiver offers the housekeeping services, changing the bed linens, vacuuming and so on. In an assisted living community these services are offered by both the housekeeping staff and the caregivers depending on the service and urgency of the task.
Food preparation or cooking services are usually handled by the caregiver or another family member in home health settings. In an assisted living community the cooking and food preparation is handled by the nutrition staff. Special menus are available to those residents who need low-sodium diets, vegetarian diets or who have other dietary needs. Meals are available in the dining hall of the community or they can be brought to the residents room for private dining.
Transportation is more flexible in a home health environment. Assisted living communities do offer transportation but the transportation is generally scheduled. A resident may or may not be able to go to a store or out for a drive. Transportation in assisted living communities depends greatly on what appointments are scheduled for the day and what outings are available. This may be a problem for many residents who want the flexibility of going out when they want to and having that transportation provided for them.
Medication Management Services
Medication management is handled very differently in an assisted living environment. Home health caregivers may be able to handle all aspects of medication management including administering the medication or treatments when they are needed. In an assisted living facility or community the medication may be handled by several people. A certified nursing assistant (CNA) will not be able to administer any medication or treatments. The LPN on duty or RN on duty will have to administer all medication and treatments while the administrative staff or RN may be the ones handling prescription re-orders and a transportation member may handle the actual pickup of the prescription order.