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How to Find Home Assisted Living

An assisted living facility is one that provides living quarters to those who are have physical or mental disabilities but who are too young to be living in an old folks’ home, nor do they need to have the round-the-clock medical care that nursing homes typically provide.

What Assisted Living Facilities are like

Assisted living facilities vary greatly in both size and services—some are small buildings with only a single resident, while others cover several acres of ground and have over a hundred people living in them. Some of these residents have “special needs” that require special care.

“Let your fingers do the walking”

The most basic way to find an assisted living facility in your community is to “let your fingers do the walking” into the yellow pages. You can also do an online search at local.google.com or some other such site. To narrow down your search, look for the most reputable homes—these are included on a list compiled by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), organized by state on their website. It is also possible to use the number on the state contact information list there to talk directly to somebody who can provide you with the info that you are looking for.

Deciding which places to visit

Once you have compiled a list of assisted living facilities in your area, choose three to six places from which to make your final decision. Make a call to each one and ask for information on it, including license and certification, activities, meals and facility contract. Eliminate those that have been cited for "minor errors" that give the sign that the care that they provide may not be up to par.

The facility that you choose should be in a location that will make it easy for the person's near and dear to visit him. That way he will not feel so alone in his new home.

Facilities that accept Medicaid

Another factor that might figure into your quest is whether or not an assisted living facility accepts payments from Medicaid, a federal and state program to help senior citizens with low incomes find such places to live. Medicaid benefits are not offered by every state. To find out if yours does, call up the nearest Medicaid office for a list of ALFs in your state that are covered. You can also dial 211—the United Way’s nationwide help line—for somebody who can assist you in your search.

Getting financial help

Whatever assisted living facility you find for somebody to live in, the unavoidable question of how the services are going to be paid for, will come up. The first thing to do is to find out whether you are legally in a position do make that decision—you almost certainly will not be, unless you have been appointed the person’s guardian due to his incapacity, or he has given you the power of attorney. If you are, then figure out how much money you have available. Next, divide all the expenses into categories and calculate how long each of your various accounts will be able to pay them. Other questions to which you will want the answers include:

  • Are there any programs offered by Social Security that can cover at least some expenses?

  • We have already discussed Medicaid. The state government might be willing to provide a waiver program even if there is no Medicaid coverage there.
  • Is the applicant eligible for Medicaid?

In all, there are twenty steps involved, and I will not be able to include every one of them here. For a complete guide, go to http://www.ehow.com/how_2002421_assisted-living-financial.html.

Some last words

When applying for somebody to be placed in an assisted living facility, you should be prepared for a long and tedious waiting period. There are strict guidelines that these facilities adhere to in deciding who will or will not be accepted into their communities. Besides, there is a great deal of paperwork involved, as well as other people who are looking to find a place here. But if you do find a place, the wait will be well worth it.

Author Bio
Mark Carol is a health writer for Assisted Living Today, a leading source of information on a range of topics related to elderly care and assisted living.

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