Independence is an easy quality to take for granted – that is, until you don’t have it anymore. When performing everyday tasks becomes a burden, there are places to turn to, including assisted living facilities, group homes, and nursing homes. These long-term care options are relied upon by millions of people nationwide who need help with basic activities, primarily due to injury, chronic illness, disability, or aging. In fact, these routine activities are known as “Activities of Daily Living” (ADL) and are used as a marker for assessing a person’s long-term care needs. The basic ADLs are bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, mobility/moving between objects, and continence. Trouble with self-sufficiency skills such as preparing meals, driving a car or navigating public transportation, going to the grocery store, doing household chores, taking medication, using the phone, or managing finances are all common reasons for needing assistance. According to statistics shared by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, people age 65 and over have a 68 percent lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two ADLs or of being cognitively impaired. While many people who need long-term care are elderly, almost two-fifths are 64 years old or younger. This range of people make up the 27 million individuals who it is estimated will be paying for long-term care services by 2050. Supervised by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, group homes are intended to provide a homelike environment and specialized services in accordance with individualized habilitation plans to not less than four nor more than eight persons with mental retardation or developmental disabilities. Among the many rules that govern group home operations, the residents must be free from physical punishment, appropriately dressed, given certain toiletries, allowed rest periods in their own beds, allowed free movement within the group home, and allowed access to the community at large. Assisted living facilities must be certified each year by the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living and must provide each client with access to:
- Assistance with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living
- Three meals and snacks each day
- Scheduled daily social activities that address the general preferences of clients
- Assistance with self-administration of medication.