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Level of care in senior living neighborhoods: assisted living and memory care

Some assisted living communities today offer a wide range of care options, including a full spectrum of support and around-the-clock care.

In the past, assisted living communities were known to offer help with daily care activities, but not as much assistance as a nursing home.

Kensington Senior Living communities provide everything from independent living to more advanced memory care and high acuity care.

These communities offer enhanced assisted living levels of care, where all staff are trained to provide care for even the most challenging health needs.

Let’s dig into the levels of care in assisted living communities, and how an enhanced license allows staff to provide various levels of acuity care.

Levels of care in assisted living communities

There are several types of care available for older adults, including home care, assisted living care, and nursing home care.

Some assisted living communities are equipped to address all levels of care within one community.

These types of communities, such as Kensington Senior Living offer independent living, assisted living, and even specialized memory care.

Let’s break down the types of care each level provides to residents.

Independent living

Our Kensington Senior Living community, Kensington Park, offers independent living services for those requiring lower levels of care, and those who want freedom from the demands of owning and maintaining a home.

A full calendar of programs and events is available for those who want companionship, while cozy, intimate spaces are available for those who would like to enjoy some down time alone.

Services include three meals a day, weekly housekeeping and laundry services, maintenance, and transportation.

Emphasizing relationships for overall wellness

We place a strong emphasis on building connections and engagement, because we understand the importance of friendship and activity in a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

Our activities are built around the unique preferences of our residents, and include a variety of exercise options, music therapy, art, guest lectures, and even independent resident-run small groups such as Bridge Club and Book Club.

Assisted living

In our assisted living communities, we skillfully balance professional medical care and services with a full life enrichment calendar.

Kensington Senior Living’s communities are built for true “aging in place.” This means that no matter how a loved one’s care needs evolve over time, they have a home with us.

We are equipped to provide services for those with no care needs all the way up to those with extremely high care needs.

Each resident is assigned their own primary care manager, which ensures the right level of care is always provided. As their needs change over time, they will be quickly reassessed.

Kensington Senior Living communities provide:

  • 24/7 support from licensed nurses
  • On-site physician’s offices
  • Full-time registered nurses
  • On-call medical directors
  • On-site rehabilitation services and fitness centers

Our gourmet dining services can be customized to accommodate a wide range of dietary needs and preferences.

Memory care

KSL communities understand the unique challenges facing those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and the challenges their families are facing, as well.

That’s why we offer specialized memory care services to properly customize the levels of care needed, and to emphasize individual independence and self-sufficiency at every stage.

At our Kensington Park community, we also have The Kensington Club. This is   available to your loved ones prior to joining us in one of our memory care neighborhoods. 

It’s a bridge to the next level of care, designed especially for assisted living residents when mild forgetfulness has begun to interfere with a resident’s daily life.

Specialized care ‘neighborhoods’

At each KSL community, our enhanced memory care includes two “neighborhoods,” Connections and Haven, to best meet our residents where they are.

Connections is tailored to those in the early to middle stages of dementia care, while Haven is for those in the middle to late stages.

Each neighborhood is equipped to provide the proper level of security and comfort, as well as the preservation of familiar routines and adaptively designed features.

How an assisted living community assesses the level of care

Now that we have explored the types of services each assisted living level provides, how do we determine this level of care a resident will need?

Assisted living communities often look to the activities of daily living (ADLs) to determine the level of assistance a resident needs.

Basic ADLs, for example, include:

  • Ambulating, which is the ability to move positions and walk independently
  • Feeding, or the ability to feed self
  • Dressing, or the ability to select clothes and dress self
  • Personal hygiene, including the ability to bathe self and maintain dental, hair, and nail care
  • Continence, or the ability to control bladder and bowel functions
  • Toileting, or the ability to get to the toilet, use it appropriately, and clean self

Evaluating the basic ADLs can help staff determine the level of daily care and assistance a resident will need.

This level of care is also known as acuity care, where a community will define acuity levels to help staff understand and execute care based on these individual factors.

What is acuity care?

KSL communities use acuity levels to determine a resident’s appropriate care plan and treatments.

Assisted living communities that provide high acuity care can perform all the types of care a skilled nursing facility could provide, but it’s done in a senior living environment.

How is acuity measured?

There are no universal standards for measuring acuity levels, so our community’s medical professionals determine the levels of care for each resident individually.

Then, trained staff can execute prompt, compassionate, knowledgeable care based on these individual acuity factors.

Residents who require high acuity care may have challenging medical conditions that require the type of support only an enhanced community could provide.

What is enhanced assisted living?

Communities with an enhanced assisted living residence (EALR) license take traditional assisted living to the next level.

They are able to provide a full spectrum of clinical support to residents with even the most complex medical conditions — such as those requiring high acuity care — and they don’t need to leave the community if their needs become more challenging.

KSL communities are able to adapt to an individual’s changing needs and continually reassess the level of care they need.

Enhanced assisted living support includes:

  • Hoyer Lifts
  • Feeding tubes
  • IVs and catheters
  • Wound care
  • Insulin injections
  • Specialized diets
  • Specialized memory care

High acuity conditions requiring enhanced levels of care include Azheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, chronic conditions, and many more.

However, despite the license, not all enhanced communities are the same. 

The best communities combine enhanced, high acuity care with love, compassion, strength, and an emphasis on friendship and relationships.

Kensington Senior Living supports those requiring any level of care

KSL’s Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own. This promise is at the heart of everything we do, and all the ways we serve.

Our communities are a dream come true for our leadership, who developed a community where they would want their own parents to live.

We promise uncompromising commitment to excellence in care and service for your family, and promise to always go above and beyond to ensure their safety and happiness.

To read the kind words of our residents and their families, take a look at our testimonials.

The KSL community invites you to become a part of our family, and to experience true aging in place in a loving, cozy, beautiful home.