Assisted living offers a supportive housing facility designed for those who need extra help in their day-to-day lives but who do not require the 24-hour skilled nursing care found in traditional nursing homes. These settings typically provide housekeeping, meals and some personal care services, such as assistance with bathing, dressing, medication reminders and other tasks as defined by need. Assisted living is primarily private pay, although 41 states currently have subsidized programs through Medicaid for older adults who meet income guidelines. This program is sometimes referred to as Supportive Living. CJE SeniorLife offers assisted living at The Weinberg Community for Senior Living in Deerfield, Illinois.
Tips for Choosing an Assisted Living Community
- Make an accurate and honest assessment of physical, financial, mental, and lifestyle needs
- Visit as many facilities as possible to get a sense of the choices in the area
- Narrow the selection to the top two or three choices, and return to those facilities and ask all of questions
- Ask to review a copy of the Resident Agreement (facility contract). Be sure to read the fine print very carefully
- Ask to review the licensing or certification inspection report. Ask how staff are trained and how often. Ask about staffing levels on a daily basis and staff turnover rates.
- Call the Long Term Care Ombudsman program and ask if there are complaints about the facilities in which you are interested. Contact the ElderCare Locator at 800-677-1116 or www.eldercare.gov to find your local ombudsman. A long term care medical social worker can advocate for assisted living and nursing home residents.
- Make an unannounced visit to the facilities of interest. Talk with the residents and their family members about the facility. Try to have a meal or attend an activity in order to get a better feel for life in the community.
- Ask what conditions or circumstances may result in the need to relocate or move to another facility
- Ask what the baseline fee is and what services are included in that fee? Ask what are additional charges for services/products?
- Choose the facility that comes closest to your needs
Adapted From Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living www.ccal.org
Levels of Care
There are many types of care to consider: