Bay Area Medical Information (BAMI.us)
Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)
ALF Form 1823
(at the Fla. Dept of Elder Affairs)

About Assisted Living

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 on site.

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 qualify.

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 Facility). 

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. 

    Limited 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 monitoring.

  • Limited 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 in mind:
  • Does the residence appear clean with a home-like atmosphere?
  • Do the staff  have warm and pleasant personalities?
  • Does the residence offer personalized health care services?
  • Does the staff encourage performing tasks yourself with assistance?
  • 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 this.
 
Internet References

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