Assisted living residences in Ohio vary widely in design. They mirror differing consumer
preferences, needs and community “styles”. Some look like modern apartment complexes,
or large Victorian homes, while others utilize a one-story ranch style design. There
is no one physical model for assisted living. Individual accommodations within assisted
living also vary ranging from efficiency units to multi-bedroom apartments. Additionally,
assisted living communities can be “freestanding” or be part of a campus or building
featuring level of care categories such as nursing homes.
Who lives in assisted living?
Nationally, more than a million Americans are living in approximately 36,000 assisted
living communities. In Ohio, there are over 575 licensed assisted living communities
providing housing and services to over 30,000 individuals. The average age of residents
is 84, and the population is primarily female. Generally, residents need assistance
with daily living tasks such as bathing, dressing and grooming. Additionally, in
Ohio, some “skilled care” or “nursing” needs can be met on an unlimited basis such
as medication administration, dressing changes and/or special diets. Other nursing
needs can also be handled on an intermittent basis up to 120 days within a 12 month
period. Assisted living is also meeting the challenge of caring for individuals suffering
from Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia's. The range of care provided in an assisted
living residence varies, but is defined in their policies and procedures or “resident
How is assisted living regulated?
In Ohio, licensed assisted living communities with 17 or more individuals are regulated
by The Ohio Department of Health under the classification of a Residential Care Facility
(RCF). Smaller residences housing between 3 and 5 unrelated persons are classified
as Adult Family Homes, and residences housing 6 to 16 individuals are Adult Group
Homes. Our Association primarily represents communities of 17 or more individuals.
Nationally, regulations governing assisted living vary from state to state. Ohio’s
regulations provide a sound basis for assisted living affording consumers a great
deal of choice within a network of safety.
How much does assisted living cost?
The cost of assisted living in Ohio varies depending on the size of living area a
person chooses, the area of the state in which a person resides, and the level of
care the individual needs. We recommend you contact, and preferably visit, several
assisted living communities to determine the level of care and price that works for
Who pays for assisted living?
Assisted living is primarily paid for privately in Ohio – either by the individuals
themselves, in combination with their families, or in some cases by insurance policies
(It is important to check the coverage offered in any long-term care policy you are
considering, as not all long-term care policies cover assisted living.) On July 1,
2005, the Ohio General Assembly authorized an Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver. The
Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver is not an entitlement program as nursing home placement,
but governed by available funds in Aging's budget and the approval of CMS (Center
for Medicare and Medicaid Services). The Waiver covers the cost of services only,
not room and board in participating licensed residential care facilities (assisted
living). Individuals have to pay for their room and board (at a rate set by the State)
from their own funds – presumably Social Security, pension, or State Supplemental
Income (SSI). To apply to participate, individuals must already be participating
in a specified Medicaid Waiver program; PASSPORT, Choices, Home Care Waiver, be a
current Medicaid nursing home resident, or have lived and privately paid in an Ohio
Assisted Living Community (RCF) for 6 months. In addition, they must meet the Medicaid
financial requirements and require an Intermediate Level of Care (ILOC).