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What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living Communities provide a structured setting for people with a variety of care needs in an apartment type setting.  The needs of people who live in an Assisted Living Communities range from independent to needing assistance with all Activities of Daily Living (ADL's).  Facilities can vary widely by size and/or amenities, and costs are dependent on geographical location throughout the U.S.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living Costs: Base Rate

  • Room and Board
  • Three meals and several snacks per day
  • Weekly Housekeeping
  • Weekly Linen Service
  • Utilities, except phone (sometimes cable)
  • Activities
  • Transportation to group events and outings

Assisted Living: Additional Costs

  • Some Communities calculate these costs based on a “points” system, others on a “levels” system. Each community's pricing structure is unique, making it difficult to initially compare costs without an assessment by staff.
  • Medicare does not pay for ALF care because it is considered custodial and long term in nature.
  • Medicaid may pay for ALF's, if the community carries a Medicaid contract.  This does not always guarantee that a Medicaid client will be accepted.  Many reserve their Medicaid spaces for current residents who have depleted or plan to spend down private funds.
  • Many Long Term Care Insurance policies will pay for ALF's, as long as the policy- holder meets certain requirements for care.

A large number of Communities will raise their rates three to six percent each year.  Many families may find themselves caught by surprise when these rate increases occur.  Make sure to inquire about possible and historical rate increases when shopping around.

RELATED: WHAT IS IN HOME CARE?

Most people expect that once they move into Assisted Living, that they will not have to relocate again. Unfortunately, there are some situations in which residents may be asked to move. When touring Assisted Living Communities, ask for an example in which a current resident would be asked to move to a higher level of care. A discharge notice should be given in writing and must meet criteria stated in the Administrative Rules of that state.

Benefits of Assisted Living

  • Private Apartment Setting
  • Structured Activities and Outings
  • Daily Assistance with Activities of Daily Living Available if Needed

Not sure what to look for when searching for Assisted Living?  Check out our printable guide:  Assisted Living Checklist: What to look for in Assisted Living.

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