Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living is a general term that includes residential non-medical facilities for those less able to live on their own. Not all facilities are alike. Depending on the facility, services may include housekeeping, 24-hour security and staff availability, emergency response systems in each room, up to three meals a day served in a common dining room with a restaurant-style menu of food choices, laundry services and many other services. More extensive plans offer the option of receiving help with eating, dressing, bathing, and other activities of daily living, as well as medication reminders. However, the simplest facilities may provide little more than room and board. Assisted living may be known by some of the following names: Custodial Care Facility, Rest Home, Board and Care Home, Adult Home, Rest Home, Senior Residence and many other names.

An assisted living facility usually furnishes a client with a residency agreement or contract; much like a lease on an apartment. This contract, like most other contracts, should be reviewed by an attorney -- not the facility's attorney, your attorney. A caveat to always keep in mind: unlike the nursing home industry, assisted living is not a highly regulated industry, therefore you, the consumer, must be on your guard.

Before you enter into an agreement, take the following steps: