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What does an assisted living residence look like?


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 agreement”.


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 you.

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. 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). In addition, they must meet the Medicaid financial requirements and require an Intermediate Level of Care (ILOC).   Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for more information.  

Frequently Asked Questions