Assisted Living

Finding Boarding Homes / Assisted Living
The Dept of Aging receives many questions from people asking about Assisted Living and Personal Care Boarding homes. Below is an article written by AARP about assisted living.

What is Assisted Living Housing?
Even as we get older, most of us want to remain living independently. An assisted living facility provides a housing option with just the right amount of help to us keep an independent lifestyle as we age. Perhaps you or your parents only need help getting to the store. Maybe you (or they) just don't want to cook any more. Assisted living residents can get as much help as they wish with these kinds of activities, but not more than they want.

Is this for Me?
Assisted living facilities are for those who want help with some activities but don't need extensive care. Generally, residents can get help with daily living activities such as eating, housekeeping, dressing, and bathing. Assisted living facilities do not offer heavy medical and nursing care.

There's no standard size or look but assisted living facilities are generally residential. They can range from 1 room to a full apartment and can be found in a high-rise building, a converted school, or a large home.

The Services
Assisted living facilities go by many names. Sometimes they are called board and care, domiciliary care, sheltered housing, or residential care. Services vary greatly among facilities, so whatever the name be sure you know what services are provided. Also learn if the services are provided by employees or by other agencies. Some assisted living facilities are part of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). CCRCs provide a continuum of residential long-term care.

At most assisted living facilities, you can usually get 3 meals a day, housekeeping, transportation, laundry, help with dressing and grooming, and some assistance with medications. Meals are often served in a restaurant-like setting, often with menus and salad bars.

The Benefits
  • If chosen carefully, assisted living provides housing that can feel like 1's own home.
  • It can be a good option for someone who needs services that cannot be scheduled easily or conveniently.
  • If a number of services are needed, this is usually more cost effective than home care services that are paid for individually.
  • Assisted living places generally offer more privacy than nursing homes.
  • Services are based upon need and desire.
Choosing an Assisted Living Facility
Services vary greatly from place to place, so it's important to ask questions. AARP offers an online checklist to help you choose a facility, but here are some key points:
  • Is the privacy and independence of residents emphasized?
  • Are the activities located in places that are accessible to residents with physical needs?
  • What are the needs of the resident and what does the residence cost? Some facilities base their rate on the square footage of the unit. Adding square feet, separate bedrooms, or a full kitchen can add greatly to the cost.
  • What rights do residents have? Especially consider those rights regarding safety, privacy, ability to organize resident councils, and control of personal finances.
  • What are the staffing patterns? How many and what types of staff are employed?