What is assisted Living?

Assisted living is a way to provide care to people who are having difficult living independently. Assisted living providers furnish a place to live, meals and assistance with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, eating, and managing medications. Assisted living programs also tend to have a less institutional look than nursing homes. However, these facilities are not as highly regulated by the State as nursing homes. There are a wide variety of assisted living programs in Maryland. They range from large corporate managed facilities where hundreds of people live in their own apartment to small, private homes.

Assisted living programs may differ in many ways including, but not limited to; size, staff qualifications services offered, location, fees, sponsorship, whether they are freestanding or part of a continuum of care, participation in Medicaid Waiver, ability to age in place, and visiting hours. Therefore, consumers should try to have a general idea of what type of setting, services and price range thy may want before contacting an assisted living program, as well as having questions prepared to ask the program manager or administrator. You can download the Maryland Department of Aging’s publication entitled “Assisted Living in Maryland: What you Need to know”; you may find it helpful when contemplating assisted living.

What are the Assisted Living Levels of Care:

The levels of care correspond with how much assistance residents need. The level of care designation, therefore, reflects the complexity of the services required to meet the needs of a resident. The State of Maryland recognizes three levels of care, and they are as follows: Level 1 is low level of care required, level 2 is moderate level of care required and level 3 is high level or care required.

What Assisted Living Services are Provided:

Consumers should expect assisted living programs to provide clear information regarding services and fees. Some programs may charge fees for services based on the resident’s assessed level of care, while others may provide an “a la carte” menu of services. Consumers should understand what is included in the base monthly rate, what services require an additional charge, circumstances under which fees may increase, and the refund policy.