Author: Lauren Thomas
Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

Assisted living facilities may or may not provide skilled nursing care depending on state regulations. These facilities primarily provide nonmedical services for seniors who are largely independent but need help with day-to-day activities, such as personal care or basic household chores. However, in some states, assisted living facilities have staff nurses or contract with third-party home health care providers to administer skilled nursing services.

What Do Assisted Living Facilities Provide?

Assisted living facilities provide nonmedical supportive services when an individual can no longer live alone safely or comfortably. Because state governments, rather than the federal government, regulate these facilities, the scope of services they provide varies from one state to another. For example, some states require assisted living facilities to have licensed nurses on-site at all times, while others have no requirements for licensed or certified staff members.

In general, assisted living facilities administer help with daily living activities such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Personal grooming
  • Mobility
  • Toileting
  • Medication management

Can I Get Skilled Nursing Services Through an Assisted Living Facility?

In many states, assisted living facilities work with third-party providers to ensure access to health care services beyond their typical scope of care. For example, services assisted living communities may facilitate include:

  • Medication administration
  • Wound care
  • Injections
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Monitoring of vital signs
  • Catheter care

As you compare long-term care solutions to find the one that best fits your needs, consider the laws in your state. 

How Do I Pay for Skilled Nursing Services in Assisted Living Facilities?

Many states provide waiver programs, often called Home and Community-Based Services waivers, that residents can use to pay for some or all of their care expenses in assisted living facilities. In most cases, an individual must require nursing home-level care to qualify for financial assistance. Additionally, your state’s Medicaid program may require you to meet age and income criteria.