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Assisted Living in DC

A Caregiver's Guide to Assisted Living Facilities in the District of Columbia

What they're called

Official name: Community Residence Facilities (CRFs) and Assisted Living Residences (ALRs)

Common name: Assisted living facilities

To compare assisted living to board and care, skilled nursing, and other long-term residential care communities, see Residential Care Options: How to Decide.

What they offer
  • Individual living units (single rooms to multiroom apartments with kitchen; some facilities have shared living units; up to four residents are permitted in a unit for facilities built before 2000; up to two residents per unit for facilities built in 2000 or later)
  • All meals, usually in a common dining area
  • Medication management
  • 24-hour on-call assistance
  • Personal care services: assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, dressing, and bathing
  • Social and exercise activities
  • Special care programs (such as memory classes and special monitoring) for residents with memory loss

Note: Some facilities also offer respite care and other special services.

What they cost

Median monthly fees: $4,350 (higher for residents requiring memory care)

District of Columbia requirements
  • Residents of Community Residence Facilities must be ambulatory and in need of only minimal assistance with ADLs.
  • Residents of Assisted Living Residences may directly contract with an outside agency to provide additional personal care services that aren't part of the facility's duties.
  • An Individualized Service Plan must be developed by an Assisted Living Residence facility for each resident.
District of Columbia oversight

District of Columbia Health Regulation Administration (202-442-5888) inspects and licenses facilities, registers and may investigate resident complaints.

How to resolve problems or offer feedback
  • Call the District of Columbia long-term care ombudsman at 202-434-2140); there's no charge for these services.
  • Call the District of Columbia Department of Health, Assisted Living Residences, at 202-442-5888.
  • Rate and review assisted living facilities.
How to pay for assisted living in the District of Columbia
  • Most assisted living is paid for privately by the resident and/or his or her family.
  • For District of Columbia residents with low incomes and few assets, a Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program may pay for some of the cost of services in a Community Residence Facility or Assisted Living Residence.
  • Low-income veterans or surviving spouses of veterans may be eligible for Aid and Attendance or other payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help pay for assisted living.
  • Some assisted living facilities offer sliding scale fees, making a higher level of care available to families that might not otherwise be able to afford it. Be sure to ask -- or ask a geriatric care manager in the area if he or she knows which facilities offer sliding scale fees.
Help finding and choosing a facility
  • Hire a geriatric care manager (most have extensive local knowledge about assisted living facilities in a particular geographic area, including space availability, resident needs assessments, sliding scale fees, and resident satisfaction). To find a geriatric care manager, see's Senior Living Directory.
  • For details about assisted living facilities in each of the 50 U.S. states, see A Caregiver's Guide to Assisted Living Facilities.

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