The week of September 11-17, 2011 has been designated as National Assisted
Living Week by the National Center for Assisted Living (“NCAL”).
NCAL has been celebrating National Assisted Living Week since 1995.
The theme for this year’s National Assisted Living Week is Forever
Proud. This theme was chosen in part to recognize and commemorate the
way the country came together as a result of the tragic events of 9/11
and how citizens took pride in being Americans helping Americans to rebuild
and recover. On its website (
www.ahcancal.org/ncal/events/Pages/NationalAssistedLivingWeek.aspx), NCAL notes that the theme Forever Proud indicates “a time to celebrate
what has been and will be accomplished.”
Assisted living communities play an important role in providing options
to people as they become less independent due to age or illness. Assisted
living communities are an option between staying home and having assistance
come to you in your home and moving to a skilled nursing facility. Moving
to an assisted living community allows people to maintain as much independence
as possible in their own apartments while enjoying the peace of mind that
having a 24/7 safety net of caring staff nearby can give.
Celebrations such as National Assisted Living Week are crucial because
they help shine the spotlight on the fact that many people will need assistance
as they age. Losing independence is not a popular topic of conversation
among families but it is a crucial one. Awareness and preparation enhance
the chances that people can choose where and how they prefer to receive
long term care assistance. Not addressing the possibility doesn’t
mean it won’t happen, it often just means that when it does happen,
the option to choose where and how to receive assistance has been lost
and people may have to settle for a default option that would never have
been their first choice.