Residents in ALFs usually live in their own room or apartment and
are provided with some or all of their meals in a congregate dining room
setting. Social, recreational activities, and transportation are usually
provided. Some assisted living facilities have health services
Costs for assisted living residences can vary widely depending on the size
of the living areas, services provided, type of help needed, and where the
building is located. Residents usually pay a monthly rent and then pay
additional fees for the services that they get.
Although the majority of
residents living in ALFs pay privately, there are programs
designed to assist with assisted living residency for those who
The typical assisted living resident is an 80-year-old woman who can walk and
transfer, but needs assistance with minimal activities of daily living.
Overall, around 20 percent of assisted living residents need no help
taking care of their activities of daily living (ADLs), others need help
in varying degrees. Most importantly, the majority of residents are
independent in transferring and toileting, but a small number of ALFs do
have patients who are dependent in this respect. This type of
assistance varies from facility to facility and is an important
distinction. Above all, a patient requiring 24-hour skilled nursing
supervision should seek placement in a Nursing Home (Skilled Nursing
In addition to a standard ALF license, there are
three specialty licenses that some ALFs also have:
Extended congregate care (ECC)
Skilled nurses are on staff and are
qualified to provide a wide range of skilled care such as caring
for stable Stage II pressure sores, administering medications,
including injections, administer oxygen, and routine care of
stomas and suprapubic catheters. An ECC can be a cost-effective
alternative to nursing home care because it (1) serves residents
who are at risk of nursing home placement, (2) provides
residents relatively safe environments, and (3) costs less on
average than nursing home care.
nursing services (LNS) Skilled nurses are on staff and are qualified to manage certain
problems such as Treating Stage I pressure sores, but not Stage
II (In Stage I the skin is intact, in Stage II pressure sores,
the skin is broken). They are able to administer
medications, including injections, and perform blood glucose
mental health (LMH) See specific guidelines on the
State of Florida website
Always visit a facility before making the
final decision. While touring the facility, keep the following
- Does the residence appear clean with a home-like
- Do the staff have warm and pleasant
- Does the residence offer personalized health care
- Does the staff encourage performing tasks yourself
- Do units have a full bathroom and kitchenette?
- Is there an emergency call system?
- Are friends and family close enough to visit and are
they encouraged to do so?
Costs of ALFs
|Most assisted living facilities are privately operated thus their
costs of care are not usually covered by publicly financed programs.
The average fee, which includes meals and personal care assistance,
ranges from $1,200 to $2,000 a month. In some states, rent or
service subsidies are available. However, the typical reimbursement
rate provided by Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is often too low
to assist those with higher levels of impairment and service needs.
Your local social security office and Medicaid Office can determine
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