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Learn about Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities, also known as supportive housing, offer a group residential setting for older adults who want their own living space. Residents may need help with dressing, bathing, eating, and toileting, but do not require the intensive medical and nursing care provided in a Nursing Home.

What is an assisted living facility?

In an assisted living facility, residents usually have their own studios or one-bedroom apartments. Units may be furnished or unfurnished, have a private or shared bathroom, and a kitchenette or full kitchen. Some facilities provide meals in a group dining room.

A facility may be located near a hospital or nursing home with which it has an established relationship. It may function as part of a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or it may exist independently. Assisted living facilities usually provide personal care services and arrange transportation, laundry and linen service, and housekeeping. They sometimes provide health services. Facilities range from high-rise apartment buildings to residential homes.

Assisted living facilities are not regulated by the federal government but are frequently licensed by state governments. Your state’s licensing requirements will affect the services and levels of care that assisted living facilities in your community are required to provide. The licensing agency may use a different name, such as residential care facility for the elderly, to describe assisted living facilities.

How do I select an assisted living facility?

It is important to get personal recommendations and visit the facility. Before you go, print GetCare's Assisted Living Facility Checklist, which provides detailed questions to help you evaluate and compare facilities. Be sure to ask your lawyer or a trusted advisor to review any contract before you sign it or pay a fee.

How do I pay for an assisted living facility?

Costs for assisted living facilities vary greatly depending on the size of units, services provided, and location. Rent and fees can range from around $1,000 to more than $3,000 per month. It is important to find out what services are included and which require additional fees.