Author: Lauren Thomas
Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

High acuity assisted living is for seniors who need basic medical support and extensive help with daily living activities. It’s a residential care option that includes a high level of care and supervision services. Every facility defines and addresses high acuity care in its own way, making it important to tour a facility and ask questions about how it accommodates residents with increased care needs.

What Does Standard Assisted Living Include?

Standard assisted living facilities primarily provide nonmedical custodial services for residents who need daily assistance with personal care, meal preparation and household chores. While move-in criteria and the scope of services differ from state to state, most facilities offer assistance with bathing and dressing, medication reminders, meal services, housekeeping and recreational activities. In most cases, residents stay in assisted living facilities long-term.

How Is High Acuity Assisted Living Different?

Like standard assisted living facilities, high acuity assisted living facilities provide help with daily living activities. However, they accommodate needs beyond the scope of most standard assisted living facilities, including:

  • Ambulatory assistance
  • Wound care
  • Incontinence care
  • Infection control
  • Disease monitoring
  • Physical, occupational or speech therapies
  • Medical services from licensed or certified professionals

In some states, assisted living facilities contract with third-party providers to administer high acuity services on a short-term or intermittent basis. Other states prohibit assisted living facilities from accepting or retaining residents with skilled nursing needs. In this case, residents may move to a dedicated skilled nursing facility for a short period before transitioning back to their regular environment.

How Can I Pay For High Acuity Assisted Living?

Many states provide financial assistance for skilled nursing services in assisted living through Home and Community-Based Services Waivers, helping to relieve the financial burden of skilled care. In addition to this, residents may have multiple options for paying for services, including long-term care insurance or cashing out a life insurance policy.