Although many federal laws impact assisted living, oversight of assisted and senior living occurs primarily at the state level. According to the National Center for Assisted Living, more than two-thirds of the states use the licensure term "assisted living" or a similar term. The second most used term is "residential care." Other licensure terms include basic care facility, community residence, enriched housing program, home for the aged, personal care home, and shared housing establishment. In 2012, the federal government released data from the first national survey of assisted living /residential care facilities. The study found that in 2010 there were 31,100 facilities with 971,900 licensed beds serving 733,400 residents. Learn about your State Policy Developments in 2012 on assisted living.
Seniors living in assisted living communities do not require 24-hour skilled nursing or medical services. Residents enjoy enriched programs that enhance independence and a safe lifestyle. If residents need assistance with personal care tasks, like bathing, dressing, taking medications and arranging medical appointments, the facility employs staff to readily help. For those with acute conditions, requiring medical personnel, like nurses or doctors, then a nursing home or a Special Needs Assisted Living Residence fits their lifestyle.
Many states report making regulatory, statutory, or policy changes impacting assisted living and residential care communities from January 2012 through January 2013. A state-by-state summary of 2012 legislative and regulatory changes and copies of NCAL Assisted Living State Regulatory Review are available on the NCAL website: State Policy Developments in 2012 on assisted living.
An assisted living facility is a senior living option for those with minimal needs for assistance with daily living and care. It's purpose is to help adults live independently in a safe environment. An ALF is a residence that serves clients who do not require 24-hour skilled nursing care and have a stable medical condition. The residence allow people to age in place using on-site home care services to address their personal care needs. This program provides care at less than half the cost of the Medicaid nursing home rate.
A resident's Supplemental Security Income covers room, board and some personal care in certain situations and in some states, Medicaid contributes to funding for assisted living. It provides long-term residential care, including housekeeping, laundry, supervision, assistance with medications, personal care assistance, case management services, and structured activity programs.
Depending on how much a resident's health changes, it's not necessary to make a move. Maybe you receive physical therapy, home health, or hospice in your current assisted living residence. If you leave for a post-surgical rehabilitation, you can return to the residence. Can I live in assisted living if I need a wheelchair or walker? Yes. seniors who need assistance with mobility continue to live in assisted living.
Many assisted living residences can safely accommodate residents in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. They're integrated into the general population of the residence and receive the same general supervision, personal care assistance and structured activity programs that are typically provided to all residents. However, as Alzheimer's or dementia progresses, a resident living with Alzheimer's may develop the need for more specialized services because they have the tendency to wander, are less able to receive direction, and require more frequent monitoring or one-on-one assistance. Residences with a Special Needs Assisted Living certification tailor programs to serve them in a secured environment.
Base rates of assisted living fluctuate depending on the unit size: studio, one or two-bedroom apartment. Base rates cover room and board and two to three meals. Additional charges can include entrance fees up to one month's rent, deposits, and fees for other services like housekeeping and laundry, though many providers include those services as well. The average cost for a private one-bedroom apartment in an assisted living residence varies from state to state but typically is between $3,000 and $6,000 per month. Assisted living is of often less expensive than home health or nursing home care in the same geographic area.