What is Assisted Living?
Assisted Living refers to a special combination
of housing, personalized supportive services, and
health-related care designed to respond to the individual
needs of those who require help with activities of daily
living. Assisted Living is a residential, non-institutional
setting that promotes maximum independence and dignity for
each resident and encourages family and community involvement.
Staff is available 24 hours a day to meet scheduled and
What types of services are offered in Assisted Living residences?
Services provided in Assisted Living residences
with activities of daily living
health and medical services
security and staff availability
call systems for each resident s unit
promotion and exercise programs
Who lives in Assisted Living residences?
Currently, more than a million Americans live
in an estimated 20,000 Assisted Living residences. There are
more than 6,000 Assisted Living residences caring for more
than 147,000 residents in California. Residents typically
need assistance with activities of daily living (dressing,
bathing, grooming, etc.). Residents may suffer from
Alzheimer's disease or other memory disorders.
How is Assisted Living regulated?
Assisted Living communities in California are
licensed Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs)
and are regulated by the Department of Social Services.
Regular inspections by state officials, staff training and
certification requirements, family and community involvement,
and ongoing quality assurance efforts work together to help
ensure quality care. Ongoing education and training programs
provided by the California Assisted Living Association and
other education organizations, strive to reinforce standards
and promote state-of-the-art programs and care delivery
What does Assisted Living Look Like?
Responsiveness to consumer demand has resulted
in a variety of options now available to consumers – options
relating to services, special programs, activities, community
size, and amenities. Because consumers’ preferences and needs
vary widely, there is no single blueprint. Assisted Living
communities can range from a private home, to a high-rise
complex, to a multi-acre campus. Communities may be comprised
of rooms or apartments. Assisted Living is an attractive
option for consumers primarily because of the range of choices
available, individualized service approach, security, and
What about costs?
Costs vary with the residence, room size, and
the types of services needed by the residents. Generally,
assisted living costs less than home health services and
nursing home care. A basic Assisted Living fee may cover all
services or there may be additional charges for special
services. Most Assisted Living residences charge
month-to-month rates, but some residences require long-term
Who pays the
bill for an Assisted Living residence?
Assisted Living is private pay, residents or their families
generally pay the cost of care from their own financial
resources. Depending on the nature of an individual's
long-term care insurance policy, costs may be reimbursed. As
of today, California does not provide a limited assisted
living benefit through a Medicaid program. The California
Assisted Living Association has been encouraging California to
take the necessary steps to fund assisted living through the
Medi-Cal program or through an increased SSI/SSP payment.
Learn More from the Assisted Living Federation of America
Download ALFA's Guide to Choosing an Assisted Living Residence