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Assisted Living in NY

A Caregiver's Guide to Assisted Living Facilities in New York

What they're called

Official names: Assisted Living Programs, Assisted Living Residences, and Adult Care Facilities (which include adult homes and enriched housing programs)

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 (from single rooms to multiroom apartments with kitchen); some facilities offer shared living units
  • All meals, usually in a common dining area
  • Medication management
  • Personal care services: Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, dressing, and bathing)
  • Social and exercise activities
  • Special care programs for residents with memory loss (most facilities)

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

What they cost

Median monthly fees: $3,660 (costs are higher for residents with Alzheimer's or other dementia)

State of New York requirements
  • A facility must develop and revise at least biannually an individualized service plan for each resident (in consultation with resident, family, physician and facility, and outside home care agency if requested) and provide ongoing case management services.
  • "Enhanced assisted living" certification permits a facility to retain residents who develop a need for a higher level of care (such as being chairbound or unable to walk, or need medical equipment and regular medical care) than is normally provided by assisted living.
State of New York oversight

The New York State Department of Health (518-408-1600) licenses and regulates assisted living facilities.

How to resolve problems or offer feedback
How to pay for assisted living in New York
  • Most assisted living is paid for privately by the resident and/or his or her family.
  • For low-income people financially eligible for Medicaid and medically eligible for nursing home placement, the state Medicaid program pays for services at participating ALFs through its assisted living program. This program sets a very low cap on what a participating facility can charge the resident and pays a set monthly amount to the facility for care services. Not all facilities participate in this program, and the number of living units is limited.
  • 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), which can 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 plus the District of Columbia, see A Caregiver's Guide to Assisted Living Facilities.

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