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Assisted Living FAQs

How can I find out if any complaints have been filed against an assisted living facility?

Contact your state’s long-term care ombudsman to see if any complaints have been filed against an assisted living facility.

What is a senior assisted living facility?

An assisted living facility is a senior housing facility that provides housing, personal care, and limited healthcare to seniors. Assisted living residents typically need support in daily activities, but are in good to moderate health overall.

Who owns assisted living communities?

According to the 2009 Overview of Assisted Living, 59% are private for profit, 12.6% are publicly held for profit, 25.7% are non-profit, and 1.3% are government sponsored.

Most assisted living facilities are free standing. Some share a campus with hospitals, nursing homes and other advanced care facilities; and some are on the campuses of independent living facilities and other senior housing communities.

Who regulates assisted living facilities?

Currently there is no federal regulation on assisted care. Instead, the quality of care and facilities is regulated by state, county and local governments. This is a reason for the lack of a ubiquitous definition of what assisted living entails.

Do senior housing communities discriminate?

The Fair Housing Act of 1988 prevents discrimination based on race, disability, and familial status. However, it allows senior housing communities to discriminate by age to help ensure the availability of affordable housing for seniors.

To discriminate by age, a senior housing community must be designed for and occupied by seniors and licensed by a Federal, State or local government program. Programs may be occupied only 62-years or older, or mostly 55-years and older.

Senior housing communities are not permitted to discriminate based on race, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, color, and ancestry.

How do I find assisted living for low or no income seniors?

Look for assisted living communities that are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for low income seniors. These facilities usually except low income payment options such as Medicaid, SSI, Section 8 and other programs for senior with little or no income, savings or assets. However the availability of these facilities in your area, get started as soon as possible because waiting lists can take years.

If you have no income, check and see if you qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, social security, or other public benefit programs. If you or your spouse is a veteran, Veteran’s Benefits may also be available to you.

How do you apply for Social Security Income, Medicaid, Medicare or other benefit programs?

Benefits.com is a very simple tool that makes finding benefits easy. Answer the questions to find out what programs are available to you.

How can I make my parent go into an assisted living?

Ask them and explain why the move may be necessary. Whether or not you can legally force a parent into assisted living, the process of gathering evidence and necessary legal documentation is long and painstaking. Forcing a parent into assisted living may also be detrimental to your relationship with them, and very emotionally hard on them.

If your options are limited and legal action is necessary, contact your local senior services agency for more information about the legal process in your area. This process may include medical and psychological evaluations, legal filings, and some financial legwork.

All in all, persuading your parent to move willingly is usually the best option when assisted living is necessary.

What is the average cost of senior assisted care living?

Nationally, the average cost is $3,131/month (2009), but the average cost depends largely on the area where you live. Learn more about the cost of assisted living in your area, down payments, and other facts about paying for assisted living with Assisted Living Costs.

Do I have the right to get my parent out of a nursing home and into assisted living?

If you have power of attorney, you may have this right. If your parent is legally responsible for themselves, they also have this right. You may have to sign a document that your parent is moving against medical advice. However, make sure you are completely prepared for the move, and that the facility they are moving to has the supportive services they need.

Does an assisted living facility have the right to claim a resident’s property and assets?

When a person’s savings have been depleted and the individual’s income is less than required on a monthly basis, a facility may have the right to liquefy assets owned and sometimes assets recently given to family members. There are many rules and exclusions to this process and these may differ from area to area so seek legal counsel in your area to learn more about your options.

I own, operate, or manage an assisted living community. How can I list my assisted living community on SeniorHousingNet?

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