Here is my answer, I am not sure it contains the info that you need but it is what I am currently experincing here in Western Pennsylvania. There is a large and growing group of people who for one reason or another cannot take care of themselves but who are not disabled mentally or physically enough to qualify for a nursing home or skilled care facility. A type of facility that was rare in the past but is now becoming common has sprung up to fill the void. This facility provides minimal to moderate assistance for people who still have some function but need assistance with the activities of daily living. It is called assisted living or in some case a personal care home. The two terms are interchangable but some people think that assisted living homes provide round the clock licensed nursing care and personal care have nursing assistants only. In my state the law does not require round the clock licensed nursing care at all. The assisted living home where I am currently working advertises that is has round the clock licensed nurses in the newspaper. This claim is true but shaky. There are three registered nurses to 150 patients on daylight, two on evenings and one LPN on nights. There are also six nurses aides on daylight, 4 or 5 on evenings and 4 on nights. The people that I work with are fine people with a good work ethic and the care is adequate, that is all just adequate. Everyone gets fed, dressed, bathed, medications are given, dressings and accu cheks are done. Falls are kept to a minimum and MDs are called in a timely manner for medical problems. The facility is also very good about providing physical therapy and entertainment. It is actually one of the better facilities. It is all paid for by the customer. There is no goverment money what so ever involved. As a rule that most of these places are private pay but there are some that are goverment run and even more that are a combination of goverment and private pay. Our staffing is adquate, a great many places have less staffing but honestly we need more help. We only do just meet the standard by busting our butts. Also, many people are being placed in assisted living facilities that really need nursing homes because assisted living is cheaper and it taxes the staff to care for them. I hope this helps you with you question, I hope other assisted living nurses can add more because I have not been doing this kind of work for very long.
Dec 5, '00
Thanks for explaining it to me. The different terminology used around the globe gets a bit too confusing at times.
In the UK we have a similar service in Residential & Rest Home Care as opposed to Nursing Homes which have a requirement for qualified nursing staff 24 hours per day.
Getting to assisted living I work in assisting living or so they call it thatbut in my book their are two types total care assisting and just the plain assist care with reminders.my virson of assisting living is that the residents can do all care and manage their own pads and what not and with very little assistance need with their showers.have a few residents that cannot feed themselves and two that are on hospic email@example.com
Jan 12, '02
My only advice if you want to work in assisted living is to carefully check out what the individual facility's definition is. Apparently, AL is not as regulated as LTC so the differences are great. I have a friend who worked in AL coordinating doctor visits, reminding residents to take meds, teaching about meds, handling emergencies and follow-ups, etc. I took a job expecting it to be similar to that, and find myself passing more meds than I did to LTC residents (and that was a LOT), more nebulizer tx, O2, precarious medical conditions, full body checks for bruises, skin conditions, and people falling down all over the place (no Merri-Walkers allowed in this place). Basically, I took a pay cut to take what I thought was a less stressful job and find that I'm taking care of more wheelchair bound, breakdown-prone people than in LTC. What the heck? I'll stop whining now, just wanted to say that all assisted living facilities are NOT alike, and I don't know where my head was while I was interviewing for this job. Good luck if you decide to try it; there are always those few lovely residents that make it all worth it.
Apr 15, '02
I work in a "assisted living facility" that is actually an adult daycare for patients who have qualifying medical needs. It's kind of neat to help people stay independent by assisting with a variety of their needs. Sometimes they are all seniors but we are seeing younger "disabled" adults. In our town there are a number of different assisted living facilities where clients reside. They vary from apartments with housekeeping and meals to nursing care around the clock. Some are funded by medicaid/medicare, but most are private pay. Anyone else out there work in a "Daycare for Adults" situation? I'd like to network with you.
Aug 2, '02
I took a job in Assisted living on a PRN basis, just to have a break from the stress of hospital nursing. It's not less stressful. The patients are very confused, most of them. I have to pass medications from a basket door to door like the Avon lady. I'm not allowed to pass meds in the downstairs living and dining area becuase that would make it seem like a nursing home, so the meds are often hours late.
A couple of the residents are verbally abusive to everyone (dementia related, but still stressful to everyone around). Families have a "Waldorf Astoria" mentality. They think I'm the chambermaid, and they don't hesitate to ask me to carry a basket of laundry or water the plants.
I don't think I'm going to do this much longer. It's not what I thought it would be.