Assisted Living FAQs

What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a long-term care option for elders and some disabled who need a level of assistance higher than that of a retirement community, but not as extensive as a nursing home or hospital. Assisted living facilities in Arizona provide an independent lifestyle with customized assistance. A qualified Care Manager should be consulted to assess the needs of the person considering assisted living in Arizona.

How Does Assisted Living Differ from Other Levels of Care?
In Arizona, assisted living homes or 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.

Who is Best Suited for Assisted Living Arrangements?
Arizona 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 in Arizona are also good options for some persons living with disorders such as Alzheimer's, mobility limitations, incontinence, or other conditions common in one's senior years. It is recommended that you consult with a qualified Arizona Care Manager before making any assisted living arrangements for yourself or a loved one.

What Types of Supplemental Services Does Assisted Living Offer?
While most assisted living communities in Arizona have 24-hour Supervision, housekeeping and meal services in common, a variety of additional quality of life services may be available in residences. In addition, supervision for persons in Arizona with Alzheimer's or other mental disabilities can usually be arranged.

What are Average Accommodation Sizes of Assisted Living Residences?
The 2000 NCAL survey reports that the average assisted living residence is comprised of 30 beds and 23 residents,. Of course, there is a wide variety in size and design across assisted living facilities in Arizona, however, licensed assisted living homes are constructed in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

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.

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.

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 residence of interest is licensed. Also, many facilities require the administrator to be licensed or certified, so ask to see credentials, if applicable.

How Important is it to Find Out About an assisted Living Facility'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 consult with a professional care manger first, and 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.

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. This is difficult to do alone and an experienced Arizona Care Manger can help assist you in creating an overall care plan for your aging parents or loved one. 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.