Below are some frequently asked questions regarding contracting with and residing in an assisted living facility.
Q. How do I make my medical appointments when residing in an ALF?
A. Before signing a contract with an assisted living facility, make sure to find out whether the facility helps make appointments for medical care and/or provides and arranges for transportation to medical appointments? Make sure to inquire whether there is an additional fee or cost for transportation services.
Q. Are nursing services provided in ALFs?
Depends on the facility and what kind of specialty license it holds. Extended Congregate Care and Limited Nursing Service licenses do provide some nursing services. Please note that if you require 24-hour nursing then an assisted living facility is not the appropriate provider for you.
Q. Are special diets available in ALFs?
A. Depends on the provider. Make sure to ask whether special meals or diets available, if needed before you sign a contract.
Q. How do you know what activities are offered?
A. Ask to see a schedule of activities. Are there a variety of activities you would enjoy? Is there transportation available to go to community activities that you choose? Are there planned trips? Ask these questions before you sign a contract so as to live in the most suitable ALF for you.
Q. Can my monthly rate be increased when I reside in an ALF?
A. Check the contract to see if the rate is guaranteed, for how long, and under what conditions a contract or residency agreement can be changed or ended. If you are given a verbal guarantee, be sure to get it in writing. A facility is required to give a 30 day written notice of an increase in the monthly rate.
Q. Will I need any paperwork to reside in an ALF?
A. An ALF will ask a resident to fill out a contract. You can ask for a copy of this paperwork when visiting a facility and take it home with you to read at your leisure. You can also share the paperwork with a friend or family member.
Q. How can I pay for my ALF residency?
A. Payment for assisted living facilities is most often paid with private funds. However, if you are eligible for some government help or you are covered by long-term care insurance, or other types of assistance such as veteran’s benefits, ask the facility or center if these will be accepted.
Q. Do all ALFs cost the same?
A. The fees for each facility are set by the provider and can vary depending on the size of the facility, the amenities provided, the specialty licenses the facility has, location and the services the facility provides to its residents. In addition, a facility may have one fee for certain basic services provided to everyone and a second fee to cover additional services you may want or need.
Q. How do I know if a facility is licensed by the state of Florida?
A. Ask to see the current license issued by the Agency for Health Care Administration. It should indicate if it is an assisted living facility, adult family care home, or an adult day care center. It should have an effective date and an expiration date. If the assisted living facility has a special license, as mentioned previously, this will be included on the license. You can also check their license status on Facility Locator or the Assisted Living Facility Comparison Tool at FloridaHealthFinder.gov.