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Denver & Boulder, Colorado

Buyers Tips

Assisted Living

Assisted Living is a long-term care option that combines housing, meals and support services but requires limited to no medical care. Around-the-clock skilled nursing care is what makes assisted living different from nursing homes. An ideal resident would be in good health both mentally and physically.

Each assisted living facility has an ombudsman to serve residents and their families in comparing residence choices and resolving complaints. The Denver Metro Ombudsman may be contacted at the Denver Regional Council Of Governments Aging Services Division at 303-455-1000.

The Assisted Living Federation of America has an excellent resource guide to assist residents and their families in evaluating facilities at:

http://www.alfa.org/public/articles/ALFAchecklist.pdf

There are three types of assisted living residences in Colorado: private pay, alternative care facilities (assisted living residences that are Medicaid certified) and residential treatment facilities for persons with severe and persistent mental illness.

There are over 500 assisted living residences in Colorado. Any assisted living residence caring for 3 or more residents must be licensed by the State.

The most common reasons for admission to assisted living residences are medication management, bathing and dressing assistance, and the need for protective oversight and supervision. Assisted living residences provide a range of services including room, board and at least the following: personal services, protective oversight, social care and regular supervision available on a 24-hour basis.

The law requires each facility to have written Resident Agreements and Care Plans for each resident. State law has defined resident rights.

State law also defines Personal Services and Protective Oversight, yet the quality can vary from facility to facility. Personal services include a physically safe environment, supervision, assistance with activities of daily living such as medication administration, bathing, dressing, eating, laundry, recreational activities and arrangements for transportation. Protective oversight includes monitoring the needs to ensure the residents receive the services and care necessary to protect their health, safety and well-being.

The Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division ensure that assisted living residences meet established regulations through unannounced annual surveys and complaint inspections.

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