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Learning About Assisted Living
- Three meals a day served in a common dining area
- Medication management
- Housekeeping and maintenance services
- Assistance with personal care, such as bathing, eating, dressing, using the toilet, and waking
- Access to health and medical services
- Exercise and educational facilities
- Laundry and linen service
- Social, recreational, and religious activities
How Much Is It and Who Pays?
What Should I Look For in Assisted Living?
- Make an accurate and honest assessment of your needs, including physical, financial, and lifestyle. If you are not sure how to begin, contact a private geriatric care manager. Visit the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers' website for a referral ( http://www.caremanager.org).
- Visit as many facilities as you can. This will help you to get a sense of what is available in your area.
- Consider the proximity of the facility to those who will visit you.
- Narrow down your selection to the top two or three choices, return to those facilities and speak with residents and staff. Ask lots of questions. Try some of the services offered, like eating a meal or taking an exercise class.
- Ask for a copy of the resident agreement or contract.
- Ask to review the licensing or certification inspection reports.
- Call the local long-term care ombudsman’s office (the person who investigates complaints) and ask if there are complaints about the facilities you are interested in.
- Make an unannounced visit to the facility. Visit at different times of the day and weekend.
- Choose the facility that comes closest to your needs.
Assisted Living Federation of America http://www.alfa.org/alfa/Default.asp/
Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living http://www.ccal.org/
National Center for Assisted Living http://www.ncal.org/
Office of the Assisted Living Registrar—British Columbia http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/assisted/
Seniors Canada http://www.seniors.gc.ca/
Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). Consumer checklist. ALFA website. Available at: http://www.alfa.org/alfa/Default.asp. Accessed December 31, 2003.
Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). Sources for seinior living. ALFA website. Available at: http://www.alfa.org/alfa/Assessing%5FCost.asp?SnID=368998439#Average . Accessed July 2, 2010.
Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). What is assisted living? ALFA website. Available at: http://www.alfa.org/public/articles/details.cfm?id=96. Accessed December 31, 2003.
Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living (CCAL). Steps for choosing an assisted living facility. CCAL website. Available at: http://www.ccal.org/steps%5Ffor%5Fchoosing%5Fan%5Fassisted%5Fliving%5Ffacility.htm. Accessed January 17, 2004.
Mollica R and the National Academy for State Health Policy. State Assisted Living Policy 2000. Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Resource Network website. Available at: http://www.hcbs.org/resources/four/al/state%5Fassisted%5Fliving%5Fpolicy%5F200.htm. Accessed January 17, 2004.
National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). Assisted living: independence, choice and dignity. NCAL website. Available at: http://www.ncal.org/about/alicd.pdf. Accessed December 31, 2003.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 07/2010
- Update Date: 07/13/2010