Primary difference between assisted living communities and personal care homes
Assisted Living communities are for seniors who primarily need socialization. It is a social model and not a medical model. They may have medical issues, but can manage mostly by themselves. Assisted Living communities do provide assistance with the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, feeding, ambulation and toileting. In addition, Assisted Living provides assistance with self-administration of medications.
Personal Care Homes are for seniors who are more medically fragile. It is a medical model. The clients in Personal Care need more help with medications, testing and other nursing services. Socialization is still needed and is an important part of the care provided.
What services and arrangements are provided by an assisted living community?
In Kentucky , an assisted living community provides each client with a separate living unit that includes a lockable door and private bathroom. The client can receive assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, eating, transferring), as well as assistance with self-administering his/her own medication. Meals, housekeeping, transportation, laundry and clerical services are also available. Each client may directly arrange with an outside agency or individual to receive health care services, subject to any related policy of the assisted living community.
Is an assisted living community the same as a nursing home?
No. Assisted living communities in Kentucky are defined and regulated differently than nursing homes, although some of the same services are provided. For example, both assisted living communities and nursing homes can provide assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, eating, transferring). However, nursing homes can deliver health care services, while a client in an assisted living community must directly arrange with an outside agency or individual to receive health care services. Generally speaking, assisted living communities offer more privacy and independence, because each client has a separate living unit with a lockable door, private bathroom and usually an individual thermostat control.
Are assisted living services the same in every state?
No. States have different definitions of assisted living.
Who regulates assisted living communities in Kentucky?
Kentucky’s Department for Aging and Independent Living conducts annual certification reviews, or as often as needed, of every assisted living community to determine compliance with the applicable laws and regulation.
Can any business call itself an assisted living community?
No. Kentucky law prohibits any business that hasn’t filed for, or received, assisted living community certification from the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living from marketing itself as an assisted living community.
Do I have to share a living unit (i.e., apartment) with another client?
No. However, you can request to share a living unit with a spouse or another individual under mutual agreement.
Do I have to sign any legal papers?
Yes. An assisted living community in Kentucky is required under law to provide you with a lease agreement for your thorough review, which then must be signed. This lease agreement addresses all provisions, policies, rights, responsibilities and protections for both the client and the assisted living community.
Will an assisted living community provide me with transportation to my doctor, hairdresser, etc.?
Yes. Assisted living communities in Kentucky are required to provide assistance with transportation. Carefully read the lease agreement to determine how and when transportation is provided, and if there is an additional fee.
Can someone help me take my medication?
Yes, to an extent. The assisted living community employees can, at your request, assist you in self-administering your own medication. In other words, they can remind you to take your medication, read labels, help open your medication containers and help store your medication. However, employees can’t touch the actual medication, determine or administer dosages, give injections or advise you about the appropriateness of your medication. You must directly arrange with an outside agency or individual to receive those services, such as your pharmacist, doctor, home health agency or another qualified person of your choice.
Can I bring furniture and furnishings for my living unit?
Yes. Assisted living communities in Kentucky encourage clients to bring their own furniture, furnishings and keepsakes.
What determines the cost of living in an assisted living community?
The cost of living in an assisted living community will usually depend on the size/type of your living unit, assistance you need and any additional services you might request. The assisted living community is required to disclose all available services and fees, so you can make an informed decision.
Are the assisted living community employees required to be trained?
Yes. Kentucky law requires employees to be trained on a variety of key topics applicable to their assigned duties.
Do assisted living communities conduct criminal records checks on their employees?
Yes. Assisted living communities are required to conduct criminal records checks on employee applicants. Many also voluntarily ensure that no employee applicants are listed on Kentucky’s nurse aide abuse registry.
Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for assisted living services in Kentucky?
No. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid pays for these services. However, you might qualify for coverage if you’re receiving health care services from an outside licensed health care provider.
Do long term care insurance policies pay for services in assisted living communities?
Some long term care insurance policies pay for services in assisted living communities. However, because coverage provisions vary, carefully read and compare policies. For more information, you can contact the Kentucky Department of Insurance toll-free (800-595-6053, ext. 4226) to request a copy of their guide for selecting a long term care insurance policy.
Will I ever have to move out of the assisted living community?
Kentucky law requires that a client must be ambulatory or be mobile nonambulatory, such as able to get around with a walker or in a wheelchair without assistance. Any client who needs health care services must directly arrange to receive those services from an outside agency or individual, or otherwise be required to move out of the assisted living community. In addition, any client who poses a danger to self or others must move out. Last, a client who is unable to continue paying for services must be given at least a 30-day notice by the assisted living community before being required to move out. An assisted living community that issues a move-out notice must have provisions for assisting the client in finding appropriate living arrangements prior to the actual move-out date.
Where can I get more information about assisted living communities in Kentucky?
Consumers can contact the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living on-line, or by phone at 502-564-6930. You may also contact Kentucky Senior Living Association at 502.938.5102 or email them at KSLA@KentuckySeniorLiving.org.