AuthorAndrea Miller
Reviewed ByBrindusa Vanta

Assisted living is considered a long-term care facility. Residents generally need ongoing help with daily activities, such as dressing, bathing and grooming, because of chronic health problems, although some centers accept short-term residents recovering from illness or surgery. Most assisted living residents stay for an extended period of months or years.

Does Medicare Pay For Assisted Living?

Medicare doesn’t pay for assisted living or other forms of long-term care. However, Medicaid pays for medical services received at assisted living communities in some states. For example, a Medicaid state waiver program may cover the cost of help with activities of daily living if a physician documents this type of assistance as medically necessary. Every state has different eligibility rules, so individuals should check with their local Medicaid office to see if they qualify.

Does Assisted Living Differ From Skilled Nursing Care?

Assisted living differs from skilled nursing care. Only licensed medical providers and those supervised by certified professionals can perform skilled nursing services. Examples of skilled nursing include catheter care, intravenous injections and wound care. Nursing home residents also receive custodial care, which includes help with activities of daily living.

On the other hand, assisted living consists mostly of custodial care and doesn’t include skilled nursing services. Non-licensed caregivers safely provide custodial care for assisted living residents. Many assisted living communities also offer transportation, events, social activities and amenities, such as fitness centers.