Caregiver and nurse helping a woman with a bed in the background.

What are Assisted Living Requirements?

Wondering if a move from your home or independent living apartment to an assisted living setting could give you greater confidence and security? If so, you likely have plenty of questions about assisted living: What levels of care can an assisted living facility provide? How does a senior qualify for assisted living? Do assisted living facilities accept insurance? Thankfully, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed attempting to sift through all of this information on your own. St. Paul’s will put your mind at ease by answering every one of your questions in detail.

Assisted Living Levels of Care

Levels of care within the assisted living industry vary by state; however, most assisted living facilities include assistance with the activities of daily living – personal hygiene, continence management, dressing, feeding, ambulating – and provide daily meals, 24-hour security and health care assistance (like medication management), housekeeping services, transportation, group and individual activities, and other health and safety support.

While some communities target residents who need only minimal assistance, others – like St. Paul’s Senior Community – offer varying levels of care, making it possible for residents to age in place longer. Some residents might require assistance only with bathing or dressing, while others need more extensive assistance with three or more of the activities of daily living, or with more complex medication management or other health and safety concerns. In addition to advanced assistance with the activities of daily living, assisted living communities may also offer memory care assistance for individuals coping with Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory loss.

Assisted Living Eligibility Requirements

While eligibility requirements vary by state and community, there are often a handful of major governing principles used in determining eligibility for assisted living. At a basic level, residents must need assistance with at least one of the major activities of daily living (ADL), such as bathing, dressing, feeding, ambulation or transfer, or safe restroom use.  Most assisted living facilities also have an age requirement of 55 years of age or older.

Each community typically conducts an initial assessment of the resident’s functional capacity and the services they may require while residing in the community. This may include obtaining a recent physician’s assessment in addition to participating in a screening by the community administrator to ensure the community can provide the necessary services for each resident.

How Do I Pay For Assisted Living?

Most states offer some form of financial assistance for assisted living, such as Medicaid or another state-sponsored assistance plan. In Illinois, this Medicaid waiver is called the Illinois Supportive Living Program (SLP); it helps cover the costs for services such as housekeeping, medication supervision and assistance, meals, personal care services, and 24-hour staff – though it excludes the cost of room and board. Eligible SLP residents must be 65 or older or have a physical disability, in addition to meeting monthly income requirements.

Veterans or their surviving spouses in need of assisted living may qualify for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits for financial help. There is a variety of criteria the Veteran’s Administration considers to determine eligibility. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gives all the details.

Other methods of financing the costs of assisted living include obtaining long-term care insurance, or applying for a federally insured reverse mortgage. Social security may also offer benefits or other types of assistance to help with the costs of assisted living.

The St. Paul’s Difference

Still not sure if you or your loved one meets the eligibility requirements for assisted living? We can help. Our Belleville, Illinois senior living staff would be glad to answer all your questions. Reach out today for a personalized consultation or call 618-233-2095 if you need more immediate assistance. We look forward to hearing from you!