Assisted Living Communities

  • What daily tasks can elders receive support with at an Assisted Living facility?

    In an Assisted Living facility, elders can receive support with such daily tasks as transportation, medication management, meal preparation, eating, physical mobility, dressing, hygiene, communication, and socialization. The amount of support needed, available activities, and options for socialization all affect the cost of the Assisted Living facility.

  • How can I pay for Assisted Living care?

    Because Assisted Living costs are self-funded, you must use your own money first. Once that resource has been exhausted, you can apply for Medicare and/or Medicaid to fund the costs of Assisted Living. Depending on the state you live in, Medicaid funds may be available.

    Veterans benefits and HUD funding may be available for those who have served or who have a certain level of income. Overall, moving to an Assisted Living facility may be a financially pragmatic decision when compared to the cost of maintaining a home. Costs vary depending on the type of care needed, with Residential Care at the lower end and Alzheimer’s Care at the higher end.

  • What questions should I be asking to find the best Assisted Living facility?

    It’s best to have a plan for evaluating different Assisted Living facilities before beginning your search. You should prepare questions that you want answered during your visit, including: How is the assisted living facility arranged? Is there a waiting list? Are meals included?

    What activities are set up for the residents? What are the monthly fees? What is the visitation schedule? Are health services available on-site? Is transportation provided? What happens if circumstances change and more care is needed? What is the neighborhood around the facility like? Are care plans developed for residents? You should also ask about staffing, common space, security, and parking.

Provide care and housing for those who need more assistance with daily care but are not yet at the level of care that is provided at nursing homes. It also is an option for those individuals who do not want to live alone.

Have grown as an option for those who are still independent but require some assistance with daily living tasks. It provides a sense of community which many people yearn for as they age. Some facilities will allow residents to have pets.

Provide social gatherings, activities and a variety of outings that are organized for the residents.

Daily Living Tasks that Elders can receive support with in an Assisted Living facility:

  • Meals prepared for them.
  • Assistance with eating when necessary.
  • Medication Management.
  • Daily Hygiene and dressing
  • Transportation needs.
  • Physical mobility needs.
  • Community and socialization with peers.

The cost of assisted living care varies from state to state. It is also dependent on the room set up such as you will pay more for a single than you will for a shared room setup. The cost is also variable due to the activities, options for socialization and level of individual care that is needed.

Charges are generally a month at a time and may range from $4,000 – $9,000 plus.

Assisted living communities – provide various options and opportunities.

It is advisable to have a plan to assist you when evaluating assisted living communities. This information gathering will provide you with invaluable informational comparisons when you sit down to look at the options and make the decision on which facility best meets your needs or those of your loved ones.


How is the assisted living facility arranged?

  • Are there apartments available? If so what are they like/number of bedrooms/baths/kitchens/laundry?
  • Single rooms?
  • Shared rooms?
  • Do they have rooms and or bathrooms that are handicapped accessible?
  • What about closet or storage space?
  • Will personal items, belongings be allowed?
  • Does the resident have to carry private insurance on personal belongings?
  • Are pets allowed in the room?

Is there a waiting list?

  • if so how long generally will it take to get in?

Are meals included?

  • If so are there entree choices?
  • Are there daily snacks provided?
  • Can meals, if provided, be served in the room/residence if needed?
  • How is the dining room set up?
  • Can family members/friends join the resident for a meal?
  • What about celebrating birthdays or other special occasions?

What activities are set up for the residents?

  • Are there church/religious services on site or nearby?
  • Are there additional costs for scheduled activities?
  • Is there a calendar of events available to residents/families?

What are the monthly fees?

  • What forms of payment do they accept?
  • Do they offer any programs to assist in coverage of the cost?
  • What fees not included in the monthly resident cost?
  • Housekeeping fee?
  • Hair salon service fee?
  • Cable and or internet fee?
  • Utilities such as gas, electric or trash pickup fee?

What is the visitation schedule?

  • Do relatives need to call before coming?
  • Is there a limited number of visitors at one time?
  • Can they have overnight guests?
  • Is there a policy on sexual interaction between spouses?

Do you have health services available on-site?

  • OT, PT, Dentist, Doctor, Nurse?
  • Are these services available daily, weekly, monthly?

Is transportation provided?

  • Is there transportation to banks, grocery stores, shopping centers, local restaurants, cafes, doctor appointments, parks?

When and if my circumstances change and I need more care do you?

  • Provide transitional services within this facility?
  • Provide transitional services to another facility?
  • Is there a fee to leave this facility?

Staffing questions?

  • What is the staff to resident ratio?
  • Is there staff available overnight?
  • What are the credentials of the staff?
  • What ongoing training does your staff participate in?

Common space questions?

  • What are the common or shared spaces with other residents?
  • How wide are the hallways?
  • Are there handrails for residents who need them for stability issues?
  • What is the lighting in the common spaces?

What is the neighborhood like that surrounds the facility?

  • Is the surrounding area taken care of?
  • Is the surrounding area well lit?

What is the facilities security?

  • Security guard on premise?
  • Front door locks

Parking Questions?

  • Is there parking for the resident?
  • Is there parking for visitors?
  • Is there a fee to park a vehicle?

Will there be a care plan developed for the resident?

  • Who has input into the care plan?

This by no means is a comprehensive list of questions one can ask when looking into assisted living care facilities. It will give you a base of questions that you can add your own to.

Read the fine print of any agreement you sign. Make sure that you haven’t signed away any rights that you want to keep ahold of. Especially be aware of the part of the contract that speaks to a liability waiver. You can always cross it out and see what the facility says. You can always have an elder law attorney check the contract before signing anything.

Financing Assisted Living Care:

Assisted Living Care is self-funded.

  • You will use all of your personal money first. After all personal monies are used you can apply for Medicare/Medicaid support for the Assisted Living costs.
  • When looking at the cost of maintaining our homes, taxes and living expenses, moving to an Assisted Living facility may seem financially pragmatic.
  • Depending on your state of residency you may find that there may be Medicaid money that can offset the cost of Assisted Living.
  • Veterans benefits as well as HUD money should be looked into for those who served and/or those who have a certain income.
  • Depending on where you live, and the services needed at an Assisted Living Facility, the monthly cost of assisted living could range from $4,000 to well over $10,000 a month. The higher end is generally for those loved ones with memory issues/Alzheimer’s.

Alternative to assisted living communities – Residential Care Homes (known as Board and Care Homes in other areas of the country) have been in our communities for a very long time. The number of Residential Care Homes has been on the rise over the last 10 years. These homes provide an alternative to Nursing Homes and Assisted Living facilities for our loved ones. These homes manage care for a wide range of residents over 65 years of age.

We would prefer to live at home for as long as possible. Home is where we feel safe and secure. However, there may come a time when staying at home is no longer a safe option. There may be an incident that brings us to this realization such as forgetting to take medication, forgetting to eat meals or even just the loneliness associated with living alone.