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What is Assisted Living?

A housing and health care alternative combining independence with personal care in a warm, dignified, community setting.
An Assisted Living residence is defined as a "special combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet the needs -- both scheduled and unscheduled -- of those who need help with activities of daily living."


What is the philosophy of Assisted Living?

Assisted Living facilities subscribe to a 10-point philosophy of care:

  • Offering cost-effective quality care that is personalized for residents individual needs 
  • Encouraging freedom & independence for each of our residents 
  • Ensuring each resident is treated with respect and dignity 
  • Promoting the individuality of each resident 
  • Allowing each resident choice of care and lifestyle 
  • Protecting each resident's right to privacy 
  • Nurturing the spirit of each resident 
  • Involving family and friends, as appropriate, in care planning and implementation 
  • Providing a safe, residential environment 
  • Making the Assisted Living residence a valuable community asset 


Who lives in our Assisted Living residences?

Currently, more than a million Americans live in an estimated 20,000 Assisted Living residences. Our Assisted Living residents can be young or old, affluent or low income, frail or disabled. A typical resident is a woman in her eighties and is either widowed or single. Residents may suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other memory disorders. Residents may also need help with incontinence or mobility. 


What do our Assisted Living residences look like?

Most of our Assisted Living residences are in warm cordial buildings with privacy and functionality. Residences may be free standing or housed with other residential options, such as independent living or nursing care. Most of our facilities have between 25 and 120 units. There is no single blueprint, because consumers' preferences and needs vary widely. Units may vary in size from one room to a full apartment.


How is Assisted Living regulated?
Our residences are regulated and licensed by the New York State Department of Health. Our providers and staff members have special training as a result of both New York State requirements and PAZ Healthcare policy. All of our residences comply with local building codes and fire safety regulations. We believe the most successful regulations are consumer drive, balancing the safety concerns we all share with the consumers' desires to retain their independence and freedom of choice.


What types of services are offered in our Assisted Living residences?

  • Three meals a day served in a common dining area 
  • Housekeeping services 
  • Transportation 
  • Assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and walking 
  • Access to health and medical services 
  • 24-hour security and staff availability 
  • Emergency call systems for each resident s unit 
  • Health promotion and exercise programs 
  • Medication management 
  • Personal laundry services 
  • Social and recreational activities 


What about costs?
Costs vary with the residence, room size, and the types of services needed by the residents, generally less than the cost of home health services and nursing home care. A basic Assisted Living fee may cover all services or there may be additional charges for special services. Our Assisted Living residences charge month-to-month rates. 

Who pays the bill for an Assisted Living residence?
Residents or their families generally pay the cost of care from their own financial resources. Depending on the nature of an individual's health insurance program or long-term care insurance policy, costs may be reimbursed. In addition, some residences have their own financial assistance programs. Government payments for Assisted Living residences has been limited. New York State offers subsidies for rent or services for low income elders. Others subsidies include an additional payment for those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. 


What to look for when placing loved one for Long Term Care? 
When the time comes to place your loved one in a long-term care facility, the decision can be difficult and often overwhelming.


Here are some questions you should ask at each facility you inspect in order to ensure quality care:

  • Is the staff happy and involved with the residents? 
  • Are there licensed nursing services onsite 24 hours a day, directed by a full-time R.N.? 
  • What is the resident-to-direct care/caregiver staffing ratio? 
  • Do you see residents restrained in wheelchairs, unattended and looking over-medicated? 
  • Are residents involved in activities designed to eliminate feelings of boredom, loneliness and helplessness? 
  • Is there a physician Medical Director with expertise in gerontology coordinating medical care? 
  • Is there a full-time Social Worker on staff to help families? 
  • Does the facility have outdoor areas that encourage exercise? 
  • Is the outdoor area locked? 
  • Is the outdoor area accessible from the inside during the day? 
  • Does the facility have walking paths to encourage physical movement and help relieve frustration? 
  • Does the facility have pets? 
  • Do they allow residents to bring their pets to live with them? 
  • What are the facility’s visiting policy and hours? 
  • Are there any restrictions for children or pets? 
  • What is the pricing structure? 
  • Is it a fixed rate or ""tiered structure"" with added unpredictable costs for increasing levels of care? 
  • What happens if my loved one’s physical condition/behavior deteriorates? 
  • What would be the circumstances or medical conditions under which I would be required to move him/her? 
  • How often are residents discharged to hospitals and skilled nursing facilities for medical problems? 
  • If a resident needs to go to the emergency room or hospital, does a staff member accompany them at no extra charge? 
  • Does the facility provide care for residents at all stages of dementia –– from early stages through hospice? 
  • Does the facility collect data on clinical outcomes? 
  • What are the clinical outcome results for residents? 
  • How is the Living Environment? 
  • Is it homelike? 
  • Is it carpeted? 
  • Are there any unpleasant odors? 
  • Are the planned activities appropriate for the age/skill levels of the residents? 
  • Are there activities of interest to both men and women? Are there community? outings or are residents isolated from the outside world? 
  • What is the dining area like? 
  • Is food service available to residents 24 hours a day? 
  • Are families invited to meals at no extra charge? 
  • Are there routine care planning meetings and are the family and resident included? 
  • Are the residents dressed and out of bed by 9 a.m.? 


What is Dementia? 
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe the loss of cognitive or intellectual function. Many conditions can cause dementia. Dementia related to depression, drug interactions, and thyroid and other problems may be reversible if detected early. That’’s one of the reasons it’’s important to obtain a professional assessment, so that the actual cause can be identified and proper care provided. Several other diseases also cause dementia, such as Parkinson’’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Huntington’’s, and multi-infarct or vascular disease, caused by multiple strokes in the brain.


What is Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer's disease (pronounced Alz-hi-merz) is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. It affects an estimated 4 million American adults. When it was first diagnosed by German physician Alois Alzheimer in 1907, Alzheimer's disease was considered a rare disorder. Today, it is recognized as the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer's disease is distinguished from other forms of dementia by characteristic changes in the brain that are visible only upon microscopic examination. Another characteristic of Alzheimer's disease is the reduced production of certain brain chemicals, especially acetylcholine, but also including norepinephrine, serotonin and soma-tostatin. These chemicals are necessary for normal communication between nerve cells. 


What are the warning signs of Alzheimer’s?

The Alzheimer’s Association has developed a list of warning signs that include common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (some also apply to other dementias). Individuals who exhibit several of these symptoms should see a physician for a complete examination. 


  • Memory loss that affects job skills. It’s normal to occasionally forget an assignment, deadline, or colleague’s name, but frequent forgetfulness or unexplainable confusion at home or in the workplace may signal that something’s wrong. 
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks. Busy people get distracted from time to time. For example, you might leave something on the stove too long or not remember to serve part of a meal. People with Alzheimer’s might prepare a meal and not only forget to serve it but also forget they made it. 
  • Problems with language. Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes, but a person with Alzheimer’s disease may forget simple words or substitute inappropriate words, making his or her sentences difficult to understand. 
  • Disorientation to time and place. It’s normal to momentarily forget the day of the week or what you need from the store. But people with Alzheimer’s disease can become lost on their own street, not knowing where they are, how they got there, or how to get back home.
  • Poor or decreased judgment. Choosing not to bring a sweater or coat along on a chilly night is a common mistake. A person with Alzheimer’s, however, may dress inappropriately in more noticeable ways, wearing a bathrobe to the store or several blouses on a hot day. 
  • Problems with abstract thinking. Balancing a checkbook can be challenging for many people, but for someone with Alzheimer’s, recognizing numbers or performing basic calculations may be impossible. 
  • Misplacing things. Everyone temporarily misplaces a wallet or keys from time to time. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put these and other items in inappropriate places such as an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl and then not recall how they got there. 
  • Changes in mood or behavior. Everyone experiences a broad range of emotions it’s part of being human. People with Alzheimer’s tend to exhibit more rapid mood swings for no apparent reason. 
  • Changes in personality. People’s personalities may change somewhat as they age. But a person with Alzheimer’s can change dramatically, either suddenly or over a period of time. Someone who is generally easygoing may become angry, suspicious, or fearful. 
  • Loss of initiative. It’s normal to tire of housework, business activities, or social obligations, but most people retain or eventually regain their interest. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may remain uninterested and uninvolved in many or all of his usual pursuits.


What is Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative neurological disorder of the brain related to a depletion of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. PD strikes people of all ages and ethnic groups. The average age of diagnosis is 60. However, 10 - 20% of persons with PD develop it before the age of 50. About half of these are diagnosed before the age of 40. The cause of PD is still under investigation, however there may be multiple factors including genetic predisposition and exposure to environmental toxins. Symptoms can include: Rigidity or stiffness of arms, legs or neck Tremors, mostly in the hands (at rest) Instability in posture or balance Slowness in movement Secondary symptoms may include facial "masking", depression, confusion, difficulties in speech or swallowing. PD affects individuals differently, but if managed carefully, each person can live well.