By:  Krystian R. Seebert

We found a recent consensus article from 19 experts who interviewed persons in assisted living care, a setting in which more and more Americans find themselves, and used the results of the interviews to identify 43 recommendations for assisted living.

More than 1.6 million people in the US receive long-term care in nursing homes and assisted living communities, more than half of these in assisted living. Assisted living facilities provide room and board, at least two meals per day, around-the-clock supervision, and personal care. Its intent is to provide a person-centered (and directed) care and quality of life through supportive and responsive services, choice, and homelike environment.

The experts agreed that some of the most important items for assisted living include:

  1. Training for staff on person-centered care
    (especially for dementia and mental illness)
  2. Direct care worker to resident ratio
    (and this ratio should be acuity driven, related to care needs, and evidence based)
  3. Implementing policies and procedures regarding aggressive and other problematic behaviors

The Tables attached to the article contain a long list of items that highlight essential tasks and training that assisted living communities should provide. It makes an interesting checklist that one should review before choosing a facility for a loved one.