What is Assisted Living?

what-is-assisted-living

Assisted Living is a Senior housing option for those who want to maintain a level of independence while also having access to personal care services. There are almost 29,000 Assisted Living Communities in the United States with just under 1,000,000 licensed beds.

Candidates for Assisted Living usually need assistance in performing one or more activities of daily living.  Assisted Living facilities will provide a number of services including help with bathing and dressing, meal preparation, housekeeping and laundry, and medication management.

Residents of Assisted Living Communities typically have their own private apartment not so different from other apartments found around the country.  They will also provide shared services of dining facilities, recreational and social activities, religious services and transportation to shopping, medical appointments and local events. There will be staff on site 24 hours a day, but residents can maintain the independence that suits their particular situation.

Assisted Living fits between independent living and nursing homes (also known as skilled nursing).  They are regulated by the state in which they are located and those regulations do vary from state to state. Here is the National Center for Assisted Living 2018 State Regulatory Review.

Who Lives in  Assisted Living Facilities

A person who wants to maintain some independence but may need help with bathing, walking, dressing, bed transfer, toileting, or eating may be a candidate for Assisted Living.  Just over half of residents are over 85 years old. Here are some Fast Facts for Assisted Living by state.

Services which are Provided at an Assisted Living Community

Services provide vary from state to state and community to community.  Services typically provided include:

  • Private apartments which may be one or two bedrooms or studios
  • 24-hour security and assistance
  • Personal care services
  • Meals and dining services
  • Transportation assistance
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Medication assistance
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Exercise, health and wellness programs
  • Religious services

Many Assisted Living Communities will offer optional services, which can be included for an additional monthly fee. In doing so, seniors and their families can tailor the experience to their needs and ensure the best quality of life as possible.

Cost of Assisted Living

The national average for assisted living is $4,000/month.  Senioridy has a Senioridy in-depth guide to the Cost of Assisted living .  Also, here are costs broken down by state provided by Genworth in their 2018 Cost of Care Survey. Costs will vary with geographical location, size of apartment, and services included in the base monthly cost.

The monthly expense typically covers the rent for the apartment, daily meals, utilities, and housekeeping. When evaluating a community, keep in mind that costs among different communities may vary and must be considered during the selection process.

How to Pay for Assisted Living

Most assisted living costs are paid from personal resources. This may include savings, a pension, or sale of assets such as a personal residence. Some residents choose to borrow against their real estate using a reverse mortgage.  Long term care insurance is used by many to cover the monthly expense.

Almost 1 in 6 assisted living residents use Medicaid to pay for daily living services, but Medicaid does not cover room and board costs.  Medicare does not cover long term care services but since the majority of assisted living residents are over 65 and eligible for Medicare, there are services which may be needed which Medicare may cover.  Veterans and their spouses may be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit.

Search for Assisted Living Communties

The Senioridy interactive search tool makes finding an Assisted Living Community near you easy. Enter your location or move the map to your location and you’ll automatically be presented with a list of potential Communities. You can even filter Communities by healthcare coverage, living options, and pet policy. Use it today to assist you in your search an Assisted Living Facility

What Does Assisted Living Cost in the U.S?