What Are the Criteria for Assisted Living?

Are you looking for the best senior living options for your elderly loved one? There are a lot of options you can consider — one of them being assisted living. According to recent statistics, 810,000 people currently live in assisted living facilities in the United States and by 2040, the demand for it will require one million more senior living units.

Assisted living facilities for senior adults can help them receive the long-term care they need as well as provide them with a good housing option. However, before considering this option, it is important to do your research and ensure that it is the right choice for your loved one. 

The Need for Assisted Living

The main goal of assisted living facilities is to help older adults live as independently as possible while having support around should there be some trouble in their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Assisted living will also help seniors connect with a community and live in a safe, private environment.

If you are thinking about getting your loved one into an assisted living community, you should ensure that you go through the process to qualify for assisted living.

Common Eligibility Criteria

In order to help your loved one gain admission to an assisted living community, you should make sure you meet the admissions criteria.

First, assisted living could be a great option for senior adults who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Senior adults who need help doing specific tasks on a day-to-day basis
  • Seniors who need access to care but want to maintain their independence as long as possible
  • Senior adults who want to maintain privacy
  • Seniors who need professional medical assistance, but not as frequently
  • Seniors who are able to, and are excited to, become active members of a community

The main eligibility criteria to move into an assisted living facility is because of a senior’s need to complete ADLs with some assistance. Some of these activities can be any of the following:

  • Mobility
  • Medication administration
  • Personal care
  • Hygiene
  • Cooking and preparing meals
  • Other household chores

These are the things that people have a hard time doing as they age. Fortunately, assisted living is one of the early steps to getting your senior get the help that they require.

However, this solution is not for all older adults. If your elderly loved one meets any of these criteria, assisted living is not the solution for them:

  • Seniors who need daily nursing services
  • Senior adults who require a wheelchair for mobility
  • Seniors who have a severe or late-stage cognitive ailment
  • Seniors who require complex medical attention
  • Seniors who may exhibit dangerous behaviors like wandering or escaping

Forms That Need to Be Submitted

Now, if you are looking for assisted living facilities for your senior loved one, there are admission requirements you have to provide. These are assessments to weigh in on the senior’s profile and see if they will be a good fit for assisted living facilities. Here are some of the requirements you have to submit:

  1. Facility Admission Forms

First, you have to go through the admission forms of the facility, as well as their resident agreement. These forms will ensure that you are fully aware of the services that will be provided for your loved ones and the fees that come with them.

  1. Functional Assessment

A facility manager or healthcare professional will also conduct an assessment that will look into your loved one’s abilities to do ADLs. This assessment will be a record of your loved one’s abilities and how much assistance they will require.

  1. Physical Assessment and Medical History

Aside from looking at your loved one’s skills, the facility will also consider their physical ability and medical history. This exam will be done by the facility’s resident physician and this must be done closer to the start of signing the service.

  1. Care Plan

Finally, you should prepare the care plan. This plan will explain how and when the services will be provided and who will administer care. As needs change every few months, plans are also updated regularly.

Top Benefits of Assisted Living

Now that you’re more familiar with how assisted living facilities work, you should also take a look at how it will be beneficial for your senior loved one’s life.

  • Personalized Care
  • Comfortable, Home-Like Setting
  • Hands-on Assistance with Daily Activities
  • Safety and Security
  • Access to Healthcare
  • Abundance of Social Activities
  • Fun and Independence
  • More Free Time
  • Healthy Nutrition through Dining Plans
  • Peace of Mind for the Senior and their Family

The Basics of Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities are perfect senior homes for individuals who need little daily care but would still benefit from having health care professionals ready to help at any time.

Typically, an assisted living resident will stay in the facility for two to three years. Most of the time, assisted living residents get a semi-private to private apartment which includes a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. After that, they may move to nursing homes, return home, or go to a hospital. 

Differences in State Regulations

For assisted living facilities, the state governments are responsible for establishing and enforcing licensing and certification requirements. While there are federal rules that apply, regulations at the state level must be strictly followed by all senior homes.

If you want to learn about the specific requirements in your state, you can go through the State Assisted Living Regulatory Summaries published on the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living website.

Assisted Living and Healthcare Plans

As healthcare costs are continuously rising, it’s important to look at how your elderly loved ones will be able to cover the expenses. 

If the senior adult has Medicare, assisted living services will not be covered by their healthcare plan. However, if they have Medicaid, they might have assisted living coverage. Almost all state Medicaid programs cover some assisted living costs if you meet eligibility. It’s essential to note, though, that cost of living will not be included in the coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to live in an assisted living facility? 

A survey by Genworth Financial projected the average cost of assisted living in 2020 to be $4,300 per month. Similarly, a report by the National Center for Assisted Living estimated the median cost of assisted living to be $51,600 annually, which also amounts to $4,300 per month. 

How does assisted living work financially? 

Many families cover assisted living costs through a combination of personal savings, Social Security benefits, pensions, and retirement accounts. That said, there are some government programs and financial aid that may also be worth looking into. 

How do you evaluate assisted living facilities? 

Assessing your needs and taking facility tours are two key ways to evaluate assisted living facilities. You’ll also want to study any fees and contracts and find out about the medical services and activities offered. 

What is an assisted living assessment? 

An assisted living assessment examines and ranks a resident’s behaviors, chronic illnesses, communication skills, dietary needs, ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), and the like. 

Can a person with dementia live in assisted living? 

Dementia patients can live in assisted living facilities. These facilities provide the specialized care and support that dementia patients need. 

Assisted living is a great long-term care option for the senior adults in your family. It can help your loved one stay independent and active while staying safe and comfortable. However, if you’re still thinking about the best option, take a look at this guide for alternative home care plans for seniors.

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