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What is assisted living?

Assisted living is a home-like setting where mature adults live independently with assistance right outside the door.

"Assistance" may mean nothing more than knowing someone is available 24-hours per day (peace of mind) or it may include help with bathing, dressing, eating, transferring (from bed to chair, and back), using the toilet, managing incontinence, walking, medications, housekeeping, meals, and managing chronic illnesses such as Diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, and Alzheimer's Disease.

Residents bring favorite pieces of furniture, photos, and decor from home and personalize their apartments. They enjoy both the privacy of their apartments or the social opportunities living in a diverse community can offer while receiving personalized service from specially trained caregivers....24-hours per day.

How does assisted living differ from a nursing home?

The main difference is residents of assisted living communities do not require the direct supervision of a physician or nurse to live their day to day lives. Both options offer personal care to assist with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, toileting, mobility, medications, laundry, housekeeping and managing chronic issues such as Diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementias.

Assisted living communities generally offer better staffing ratios.....the number of caregivers compared to the number of residents. Residents receive more personalized attention in a setting that resembles their home....not a hospital.

Assisted living is more personal and the care given is tailored to meet the residents needs and wants. Very few residents have care needs that cannot be met in an assisted living community. Even residents with memory impairment (such as Alzheimer's Disease or other related dementias) can be cared for in the right assisted living setting. Another important difference is cost. It costs much less to live in an assisted living community than in a skilled nursing home. Imagine: better food, a home-like setting, more staffing, personalized a better price!!

What happens in an assisted living community?

Residents go about their daily lives just as they did at home with a few minor differences.

At home, a person would wake in the morning and struggle to get out of bed and to the bathroom without incident. Struggle to dress, experience difficulty with buttons, zippers and shoes. Prepare breakfast which usually did not consist of nutritious food and since eating alone is not fun, did not eat much....or did not eat at all. Many struggle with understanding or reading medication bottles and instructions and often take medications incorrectly.

In assisted living, residents wake up in the morning, press a button and a caregiver assists them to the bathroom, with dressing and grooming and escorts them to breakfast where a home-cooked meal complete with good friends, music and company awaits them. A specially trained medication aide administers medications in the correct dose, at the correct time and keeps a detailed record for the resident and his or her physician.

At home, a person has a quiet day with little conversation or interaction. In assisted living, residents may participate in daily activities, play cards, read in the library, chat with neighbors who are of similar age or simply enjoy a peaceful day with their own company but surrounded by the secure and comforting feeling of knowing others are present in case of emergency.

Where can I turn for more information on assisted living?

Wisconsin offers Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRC's) throughout the state. ADRC representatives will provide information about senior housing and services including assisted living. They will explain and assist with financial assistance applications. These centers are state sponsored and free to the public.

To find the ADRC closest to you, visit:

Wisconsin also hosts the Department of Health Services website which offers lists of assisted living communities and provides histories of past state surveys of each community. State surveys identify areas of service in the community requiring improvement (if any).

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services website may be viewed at:

When is it time for an assisted living transition?

When a person is no longer safe living alone it is time for assisted living. The BAKA Communities welcome you to tour, have lunch and meet the residents and families who enjoy our communities. Don't wait until a medical emergency forces you to make this difficult choice....tour and ask questions now so you have time to carefully consider what you want and need in a ready when the time comes.

Are the accommodations rented or purchased?

All apartments are rented on a month-to-month basis. Residents are required to provide a 30-day notice of intent to vacate.

What does a new resident need to bring with them?

Most residents bring their own furniture and decorations to personalize their new home. For those requiring furniture, we do offer a bed and dresser. We advise residents to NOT purchase new furniture....bring that favorite chair you love, your favorite comforter and lamp. Your new home should resemble your old home....the only difference should be the sense of security and personal assistance which is just a push of a button away.

We provide bed linens, towels, washcloths and soap.

Is there transportation available to take me to appointments and shopping?

A wheelchair accessible van and driver are available to take residents to local medical appointments Monday thru Friday.  Shopping trips and outings are posted on the monthly social calendar and are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Staff will assist with scheduling public transportation for personal outings and medical appointments outside normal transportation hours or if the appointments conflict with the posted van schedule.

How do most people pay for assisted living?

Most residents in assisted living communities pay for housing and services with private funds generated through the sale of a home, personal income, investments and/or family support.

Others have long term care insurance policies covering a portion or all of the assisted living fees. Former military personnel and their spouses may be eligible for assistance through the Veteran’s Administration. The state of Wisconsin offers public funding options including Family Care.  Residents must meet certain financial conditions to qualify for these programs.

(See Financial Tab at the top of this page.)

When are staff available and are they able to assist with all needs?

Our communities are staffed 24-hours per day (awake staff). Most caregivers are certified nursing assistants (State of Wisconsin) and meet or exceed the state required training for new hires and on-going annual education.

A registered nurse is on call at all times. Each community has an administrator or executive director who manages the business office Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is otherwise on-call for community emergencies.

Community staff may also include resident care coordinators (RCC's), community relations personnel, housekeepers, cooks, dietary managers, dietary staff, maintenance personnel and activity directors.