How does Assisted Living Differ with Levels of Care

How Does Assisted Living Differ with Levels of Care?

After doing a little homework on senior assisted living care, you may have realized that there are a variety of options to think about. You may have come across information such as levels of assisted living, which you may have not known was a thing, and are possibly wondering now what the heck it all means. Today, we’ll help you make an informed decision, either for yourself or on behalf of an elderly loved one, as we dissect the different levels of care to answer one of the most common questions about assisted living. 

Level of care? What does that even mean? 

It’s quite common for people to mistake care quality for assisted living levels, but they do not mean the same thing. All residents in senior assisted living communities basically get the same quality of care, given these establishments are tethered by similar guidelines and regulations. 

However, clients’ needs naturally vary across the board, which is what brings about different levels of care, as assisted living services are tailored made to meet the unique requirements of these residents at their various levels of need. 

How many levels are there? 

Usually, most senior citizen assisted living residences have three different levels of care and they are as follows: 

1. Level 1 Care 

This is the lowest level of care available, and we can’t emphasize enough that level of care has nothing to do with the quality of care. It is the lowest level of care in that patients at this level require the least assistance with activities of daily living, commonly known as ADLs. 

Such residents are fairly independent, for the most part, and they are typically seniors with the following profile:  

  • Need very little, if any, supervision to oversee that they execute ADLs according to safety and other measures
  • Require reminders although they are capable or want to perform basic ADLs
  • Can complete the lion’s share, or even all, of the ADLs without any or with little help

2. Level 2 Care 

If you’ve looked up options for the best assisted living near me, chances are you’ve heard someone mention to you that they offer a level 2 care option, and here’s what that means: 

Level 2, is an intermediary between level 1 and level 3 care, meaning residents require much more assistance with ADLs than their level 1 counterparts. However, they aren’t as dependent on assistance as those on level 3 care, and can still fairly get a lot done by themselves. 

These residents may: 

  • Get through most basic ADLs with no trouble or assistance
  • Require help with more ADLs than level 1 patients
  • Need regular check-ins as they go about their ADLs

3. Level 3 Care 

Residents in level 3 care require the most assistance, as they have difficulties executing many of their ADLs. They require the highest level of care in that they need the most assistance with their day-to-day. Most residents who require this level of care usually have cognitive conditions such as memory loss, among others, which hinder the safe and proper execution of daily tasks. 

Residents in level 3 assisted living for seniors may have the following traits:

  • They require hands-on assistance from caregivers with most of their ADLs
  • They may require the attention of more than one caregiver 
  • They can’t be left alone to perform basic ADLs without someone watching over them

In light of what we’ve discussed today, it’s only natural that the cost of assisted living will vary across these different levels. That’s primarily because of the differences in staff interaction. 

Your assisted living care provider may also monitor and reevaluate your loved one’s condition as it’s quite commonplace for care plan needs to change and evolve with age. As your loved one becomes less independent, they may need to be moved into a higher-level care plan. 

Of course, any community senior living service worth its salt will share these concerns with the family, and not take it upon itself to make that decision for you. This assessment may happen on a monthly basis, and can also be initiated by the resident or families who might feel that their loved one may be better served by a certain level of care. 

What other considerations play a part in assessing the level of care? 

Beyond those that we have discussed so far, a few other factors that come into the equation which will influence the ideal level of care for your loved one, encompass: 

  • Staffing formulas
  • Building layout

1. Staffing formulas

You can tell a lot about an assisted living community and the levels of care it can offer from its staffing model, which entails:

  • Staff organization
  • How many hats each caregiver has to wear
  • Staff to resident ratios

An assisted living center with limited caregivers doesn’t outrightly mean it’s not a great community. It just means that they may not have the resources to match higher-level care needs.

2. Building layout 

What’s the floor plan like? That can affect the level of care offered more than you know. For instance, if the floor plan is open, sprawling, and spacious, with caregivers having to man large perimeters, then it may imply that the assisted living services are more inclined toward lower-level needs. 

Alternatively, if rooms are strategically positioned such that staff constantly have to go past them in between two important points or stations that they regularly frequent, then this community may be better tailed to meet high-level care needs.

Let Lantern Lifestyle help you choose the right level of care

Carrying the same weight as selecting good assisted living communities near me, it’s important that you get your level of care selection spot on. Think about whether you or your loved one requires help with daily medications, their restrictions, their ability to manage ADLs, and how much supervision they might need. Of course, it may still be hard to figure out the exact level of care which is where we come in. Let Lantern Lifestyle talk you over the options for low and high-level care we offer, discuss your loved one’s unique needs and perform an assessment to ensure the right placement. Contact us today.



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