Author: Sarah Williams
Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

Yes, assisted living facilities help with toileting. Most communities assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) — which include help using the toilet — per residents’ tailored support plans. However, regulations regarding service provision vary among states, and facilities choose whether to offer certain services. Therefore, seniors must carefully check available services when comparing assisted living communities.

Rules and Regulations Regarding Toileting in Assisted Living Facilities

Facility licensing requirements differ across the nation. For example, state regulations don’t oblige Washington’s facilities to provide help with activities of daily living. Conversely, assisted living residences in Pennsylvania must provide assistance with performing ADLs. In Delaware, communities must either provide or arrange ADL assistance.

Despite variations in state regulations, the CMS sets out service requirements for Medicaid certification. Facilities must meet minimum standards and provide key services, such as assistance with ADLs, to accept federal funding for the provision of home and community-based services (HCBS). Such funding is through state Medicaid programs or HCBS waiver programs. Research suggests around half of the nation’s assisted living communities are Medicaid-certified. While all Medicaid-certified facilities must provide assistance with ADLs, a lack of certification doesn’t mean communities don’t offer such services.    

Examples of Toileting Assistance

According to the National Center for Assisted Living, about 43% of assisted living residents require toileting assistance. However, exact support varies depending on individual needs and may include:

  • Bathroom grab rails
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Bathroom schedules
  • Reminders
  • Ambulation assistance
  • Transferring to and from the toilet
  • Unfastening clothes
  • Cleaning after using the toilet
  • Changing diapers

Additionally, catheter care regulations vary nationwide. Seniors who need extensive continence management may require the more intensive services of memory care or nursing home care.