Assisted living communities provide accommodations for adults (18 years and older) who may have physical and mental impairments. The Code of Virginia (section 63.1-172) defines assisted living as a level of service provided by an adult care residence for adults who may have physical or mental impairments and require at least a moderate level of assistance with activities of daily living (which include bathing, toileting, eating, etc.).
Most assisted living communities offer individual apartment units, generally with full bathrooms, a kitchenette with refrigerator, three meals per day, housekeeping and maintenance services.
The objective of assisted living facilities is to provide assistance in a home-like atmosphere while:
- Encouraging independence in their residents,
- Respecting the importance of the resident's privacy, and
- Treating their residents with dignity.
Assisted living environments typically provide:
- Personal and supportive care,
- 24-hour supervision,
- Scheduled and unscheduled assistance,
- Social activities,
- Privacy, and
Cost of Assisted Living
The cost of assisted living facilities varies depending on factors such as the size of living quarters, types of services required, the geographical location of the facility, and ownership. The average monthly cost of assisted living in Virginia is currently $4,451, according to the Genworth Cost of Care survey. Prior to being admitted, some facilities may also require an entrance fee, an application fee or a fee to be added to a waiting list. Because Medicare and Medicaid will not pay for assisted living, some people may qualify for alternative financial assistance. The Aid & Attendance benefit is available to qualifying veterans and their spouses. In addition, auxiliary grants or other financial assistance may be available to help with the cost of assisted living fees. To read more about auxiliary grants, visit the Virginia Department of Social Services website.
Some facilities may have a fellowship or charity policy or a benevolent fund. Usually, these types of funds are reserved for current residents who are no longer able to meet their financial obligations.
What Should I Look For in An Assisted Living Facility?
The Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living (CCAL) provides an excellent checklist for consideration when choosing an assisted living facility.
Licensure & Accreditation
In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Social Services licenses assisted living facilities. In addition to licensing, which enforces minimum health and safety standards, many facilities will also voluntarily seek accreditation through:
- The Joint Commission
- Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International)