What is Assisted Living
“Assisted Living” refers to a special combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health-related care designed to respond to the individual needs of those who require help with activities of daily living. Assisted Living is a non-institutional setting that promotes maximum independence and dignity for each resident and encourages family and community involvement. Staff is available 24 hours a day to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs.
Assisted Living services may include: assistance with activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and mobility), medication management, social and recreational activities, housekeeping services, meals, transportation, dementia care, and health-related services. Responsiveness to consumer demand has resulted in a variety of options now available to consumers – options relating to services, special programs, activities, community size and amenities. Because consumers’ preferences and needs vary widely, there is no single blueprint. Assisted Living communities can range from a converted Victorian home, to a high-rise complex, to a multi-acre campus.
Assisted Living communities in California are licensed Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) and are regulated by the Department of Social Services. Inspections by state officials, staff training and certification requirements, family and community involvement, and ongoing quality assurance efforts work together to help ensure quality care.
A large body of regulation, California Code of Regulations Title 22, regulates operation and provision of service in this care setting, including among other things:
- acceptance and retention criteria
- admission agreements
- relocation process
- staff training
- criminal background checks
- medication management
- food service
- dementia care
- health-related services
- hospice care
- administrator qualifications
- disaster planning
- resident rights
What Does Assisted Living Cost?
Costs vary with the community, room size, and the types of services needed by the residents. A base Assisted Living fee may cover all services or there may be additional charges for special services. All fees are identified in the admission agreement (be sure to ask for a copy!).
Variety & Choice
One of the most important elements of Assisted Living is the variety of Assisted Living communities available. Variations in size, amenities, services, and pricing enable consumers to choose an environment that they consider attractive, a community that meets their needs, and pricing that works for them. Assisted Living includes family-owned and operated communities, providers who serve seniors in several communities within California, and providers who offer Assisted Living services in communities in multiple states. The variety and flexibility of Assisted Living has helped make it the popular care option it is today.