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Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Seniors for Living Work?

Seniors for Living is a free service that helps you and your family research, evaluate, contact, and compare assisted living communities.
Research our extensive database of assisted living communities for FREE.
Evaluate the communities that meet your specific needs
Contact the community directly to let them know you are interested in learning more about their offerings
Compare your options and make a decision that is best for you or your family member.
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What is an Assisted Living Community?

Assisted living is a long-term care option for elders who need a level of assistance higher than that of a retirement community, but not as extensive as a medical or nursing home or hospital. Assisted living facilities provide an independent lifestyle with customized assistance.
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How Does Assisted Living Differ from Other Levels of Care?

Assisted living communities offer a unique combination independent living and care. Unlike nursing homes and other medical facilities, assisted living facilities allow elders to maintain a sense of independence and involvement in a social community, while at the same time provide the assistance with daily life and peace of mind that comes with a professional support team.
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Who is Best Suited for an Assisted Living Community?

Assisted Living communities are suited for residents who need assistance in their daily lives, including preparing their meals, facilitating transportation, maintaining their homes, assisting with hygiene, and managing their medication. Assisted living facilities are also good options for some residents living with disorders such as Alzheimer’s, as well as mobility limitations, incontinence, or other conditions common in one’s senior years.
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What Types of Supplemental Services Do Many Assisted Living Communities Offer?

While most assisted living communities have 24-hour supervision and meal services in common, a variety of additional quality of life services may be available in your residence of interest, according to the National Center for Assisted Living’s (NCAL) 2000 Survey of Assisted Living Facilities. In addition, supervision for persons with Alzheimer’s or other mental disabilities can usually be arranged.
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What are the Average Accommodation Sizes of Assisted Living Residences?

The average assisted living residence is comprised of 30 beds and 23 residents, reports the 2000 NCAL survey. Of course, there is a wide variety in size and design across assisted living facilities, however, most assisted living homes are constructed in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
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What Types of Living Accommodations are Provided?

Across the country, assisted living residencies vary in size, design, and accommodations. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), assisted living facilities can range from high-rise apartment complexes to converted homes, from a single room studio to a full apartment, from private to semi-private units. NCAL’s survey reports 25 percent of residences had kitchenettes, with 19 percent having full kitchens.
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What Amenities are Typically Available?

Typical amenities available in assisted living homes may include personal care assistance (bathing, toileting, dressing, eating), access to health care and medical services, on-site social and spiritual activities, recreation and exercise facilities, wellness programs, transportation arrangements, 24-hour security, laundry service, and housekeeping.
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What are Typical Costs?

As reported by the 2006 MetLife Market Survey of Assisted Living Costs, the costs associated with assisted living averaged $2,968 per month, or $35,616 yearly. That’s up 2.2% or $63 from 2005 and 17.6% from 2004. Just as Assisted Living facilities vary, so too do their costs, which depends mostly on the size of units, services offered, and location, according to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). The MetLife reports concurs that rates range considerably by region, with North Dakota the lowest ($1,742 monthly) and the Bridgewater, New Jersey area the highest ($5,197 monthly). Many long-term care insurance policies offset some of the costs, however, reports NCAL, most Assisted Living expenses are covered by the family of residents, since most elders do not have such long-term coverage. Medicare does not cover Assisted Living, but under certain circumstances, some state and local governments offer subsidies for rent or service for income-eligible seniors, according to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). Supplement Security Income (SSI) may also help alleviate some of the cost, while some residences participate in Medicaid, grant programs, or other assistance.
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How are Assisted Living Communities Licensed?

According to ALFA, regulations and licensure requirements for assisted living facilities vary from state to state. It’s important to do your research to see if your state requires assisted living communities to be licensed, and if so, whether your residences of interest have complied. Also, many states require the administrator to be licensed or certified, so ask to see credentials, if applicable.
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How Important is it to Find Out About a Community’s Philosophy of Care?

It should be an integral part of your decision-making process, urge experts at ALFA. When making a major life decision such as choosing an assisted living community, it’s important to be an informed consumer. Be sure that as a resident you’ll be afforded respect, privacy, religious freedom, the right to voice grievances should they arise, maintenance of your personal finances, and control over health care decisions. Additionally, inquire about internal regulations regarding pets, alcohol, smoking, and other quality of life issues, to see if they correspond with your personal preferences.
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How Can I Ensure That I Make the Right Decision?

Choosing the right assisted living residence takes a lot of research and legwork on your part. It’s imperative to compare facilities in terms of unit availability, services offered, cost, and overall philosophy of care. Resources like Seniors for Living empower you to be proactive in requesting information and communicating directly with assisted living professionals. Upon hearing from an assisted living facility’s representative, set up tours at residences of interest, observe residents to get a sense of each facility’s atmosphere, and most important, be sure your individual needs will be met.
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