An assisted living facility (ALF) is a residential option for older adults who need or want help with what are known as activities of daily living, such as; toileting, bathing, eating, and dressing, but don’t need the supervision and around-the-clock medical care of a nursing home. Residents of assisted living facilities usually have their own apartment or unit. There are many services and benefits offered at an assisted living facility, which include some, if not all, of the following:
- 24-hour security
- A support staff of nurses and certified nursing assistants
- Assistance with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and mobility
- Recreational activities for seniors
- Health care monitoring and management
- Three square meals a day served in an environment of your peers
- Transportation to services and events
- Laundry and housekeeping services
- Help with medications and/or medication reminders
- Fitness, nutrition, and wellness programs
- Mental health services and mental health monitoring
- A home-like atmosphere that includes both public and private areas
The cost of residing in an assisted living facility can differ and depends on several different factors, such as the kinds of services needed, size of the apartment, geographical location of the community, and the type of residence. The average monthly cost to live in an assisted living facility in Tennessee in 2015 is $3,395.00, and there are more than 30 different ALF’s to choose from in Knoxville, TN, alone. Tennessee has a Medicaid-funded long term services & supports waiver program, known as TennCare CHOICES, to help pay for care within some assisted living facilities, however, room and board is not covered by this Medicaid waiver.
More information about the TennCare CHOICES program can be found here.
By Marcie Pennington, Gerontologist