Assisted living facilities offer a housing alternatives for older adults who may need help with dressing, bathing, eating, and toileting, but do not require the intensive medical and nursing care provided in nursing homes.
Assisted living facilities may be part of a retirement community, nursing home, senior housing complex, or may stand-alone. Licensing requirements for assisted living facilities vary by state and can be known by as many as 26 different names including: residential care, board and care, congregate care, and personal care.
WHAT SERVICES ARE PROVIDED?
Residents of assisted living facilities usually have their own units or apartment. In addition to having a support staff and providing meals, most assisted living facilities also offer at least some of the following services:
HOW TO CHOOSE A FACILITY?
A good match between a facility and a resident’s needs depends as much on the philosophy and services of the assisted living facility as it does on the quality of care.
The following suggestions can help you get started in your search for a safe, comfortable and appropriate assisted living facility:
The following steps should also be considered:
WHAT IS THE COST FOR ASSISTED LIVING?
Although assisted living costs less than nursing home care, it is still fairly expensive. Depending on the kind of assisted living facility and type of services an older person chooses, the price costs can range from less than $10,000 a year to more than $50,000 a year. Across the U.S., monthly rates average $1,800 per month.
Because there can be extra fees for additional services, it is very important for older persons to find out what is included in the basic rate and how much other services will cost.
Primarily, older persons or their families pay the cost of assisted living. Some health and long term care insurance policies may cover some of the costs associated with assisted living. In addition, some residences have their own financial assistance programs.
The federal Medicare program does not cover the costs of assisted living facilities or the care they provide. In some states, Medicaid may pay for the service component of assisted living.
Medicaid is the joint federal and state program that helps older people and those with disabilities pay for health care when they are not able to afford the expenses themselves. Additional information on financing can be obtained from the resources listed below.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT ASSISTED LIVING?
Older persons who want to find out more about the assisted living option can start by contacting their local area agency on aging (AAA). Contact the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov to find the AAA office closest to you.
Here are other places you can check for more specific information about assisted living:
Assisted Living Federation of America
11200 Waples Mill Road, Suite 150
Fairfax, VA 22030
www.alfa.org or email email@example.com
Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living
2342 Oak St.
Falls Church, VA 22046
National Center for Assisted Living
201 L St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
2519 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008-1520
The American Seniors Housing Association
5100 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016