Assisted Living in Delaware
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Families looking for assisted living in Delaware (DE) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 34 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 18.1 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Delaware will pay $6,015 per month on average.
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What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Delaware
The Delaware Health and Social Services Department defines assisted living as “a housing option that provides support to residents and usually includes light medical or nursing care.” Residents in assisted living facilities receive help with the activities of daily living along with light housekeeping and laundry service, meals and a variety of educational and recreational activities. Those who live in an assisted living residence receive more assistance than they would in an independent living community, but they have more independence than those living in a nursing home.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Delaware
Seniors in Delaware have two financial assistance options available to them: Medicaid and SSI-G.
The Delaware Diamond State Health Plan Plus
The Delaware Diamond State Health Plan Plus is a program managed by Medicaid. Currently, this program is being implemented through the Diamond State Health Plan Plus, which is a managed care model that provides coverage for medical and personal care services in assisted living facilities.
Who Is Eligible?
Eligible seniors are at least 65 years of age, have an income of less than $1,875 per month and have $2,000 or less in countable assets.
How to Apply
To apply for Medicaid, seniors should visit their local office of the Division of Social Services or apply online at HealthCare.gov.
More Ways to Finance Assisted Living
While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.
Free Assisted Living Resources in Delaware
Delaware has numerous state-funded agencies and nonprofit organizations that offer free assistance for older adults and their families who are considering long-term senior care options. These organizations can help you discover what types of financing options are available and what you or your senior loved one qualifies for.
Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center
This free resource serves seniors by helping them understand what types of resources are available to them and what kinds of services fit their needs. There is a call center where agents can answer general questions, as well as options counselors who can provide more personalized assistance.
For more information, visit the Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center here or call them at 1-800-223-9074.
1901 North DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720
18 N. Walnut St., First Floor, Milford, DE 19963
100 Sunnywide Road, Smyrna, DE 19977
25351 Patriots Way, Georgetown, DE 19947
The Veterans Administration in Delaware assists military veterans and their spouses find and finance assisted living. By visiting an office and speaking with a service officer, veterans can determine what types of care options they have under the benefits they are currently receiving or what benefits they are eligible for that could help cover the cost of assisted living.
Below is a list of VA Centers in Delaware and their contact information:
Delaware’s Social Security offices provide assistance for seniors who want to understand their Social Security benefits, including the SSI-G benefit, which may be used to help cover the cost of assisted living.
500 W. Loockerman St., Dover, DE 19904
1-877-701-2141 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
12001 Old Vine Blvd, Lewes, DE 19958
1-866-864-1803 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
920 W Basin Road, New Castle, DE 19720
1-866-667-7221 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate for seniors who reside in assisted living communities. This program investigates and resolves complaints on behalf of seniors. Complaints may be made by the seniors themselves, their family members or other concerned parties.
Find out more about the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program here.
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Delaware
An assortment of laws and regulations ensure that assisted living communities in Delaware provide a high standard of living for residents. These laws govern how assisted living communities are staffed, what accommodations and services they offer and the inspection and accountability requirements.
Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements
Prior to admitting a new resident, a registered nurse must complete Delaware's Uniform Assessment Instrument to evaluate prospective residents' medical status, physical condition and what social factors may affect their behavior. This assessment should be updated after 30 days of residence and at any time the resident exhibits changes in needs or behavior.
Facilities must draft a service agreement that outlines what, when and how services will be provided and who will provide them. There must also be a risk clause signed by both the resident and the facility that describes what actions the facility can take when a resident's rights to choice and independence conflict with the facility's obligation to safeguard health and safety. Only residents who are able to make choices and understand consequences can enter into and negotiate a risk agreement.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
In Delaware, assisted living communities can only accept those whose needs can be met by the level of care provided in these communities.
Seniors who need more than intermittent or short-term nursing care, have an unstable medical condition that requires constant monitoring or who require skilled monitoring, testing and adjustments to their medications or treatment plan cannot be admitted to an assisted living community. Additionally, those who have been bedridden for more than two weeks, have Stage III or IV pressure sores or require an intravenous or central line will require skilled care beyond what an assisted living community can provide and will not be admitted as a resident. Finally, residents must not wander to the extent that the facility cannot provide adequate security and monitoring, nor can they pose a danger to themselves or anyone else.
These restrictions generally do not apply to seniors who are in the care of a licensed hospice program. In some cases, resident-specific waivers may be granted that would allow an assisted living facility to temporarily admit a resident who has an excluded condition. Residents with excluded conditions may reside in an assisted living community for up to 90 days, provided that qualified health professionals administer that skilled care.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Assisted living facilities in Delaware are required to provide housing and meals for residents, along with assistance with the activities of daily living. This includes assistance with bathing and personal grooming, dressing and medication management. Additionally, they must provide basic housekeeping and laundry services, emergency transportation and access to health care and social services. Communities are also required to provide or arrange transportation for medical appointments and errands. Assisted living facilities must offer opportunities for socializing and leisure activities that promote residents’ well-being and quality of life.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Some assisted living facilities accept payment from Medicaid for room and board or some services. If a senior intends to use Medicaid to pay for their assisted living care, they should confirm that the community they choose is able to receive payment from this program.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
Living units in assisted living facilities must be either single- or double-occupancy; rooms cannot have more than two residents. Residents must have a bathroom that is easily accessible, whether it’s a communal restroom or a private restroom in their living unit. There has to be at least one bathroom for every four residents. Residents must also have access to a microwave or stove, a sink and a refrigerator. These can be located either in the living units or in an easily accessible central kitchen.
All bedrooms and bathrooms must be equipped with an intercom system or another mechanical means of communication to allow residents to alert staff of an emergency.
Medication Management Regulations
Each assisted living facility in Delaware is required to establish and adhere to written medication policies and procedures that outline how information pertaining to residents’ medications is obtained, documented, stored and administered. Residents who can administer their own medications are permitted to do so; otherwise, a qualified caregiver administers the medication.
When a senior who self-administers medication is admitted to the assisted living community, an RN must review the medications within 30 days. This is to ensure that residents have the cognitive and physical ability to administer their own medication, that the medication has been received, labeled and stored properly, and that any adverse side effects are noted.
To provide assistance with self-administered medication, a staff member has to complete a medication training program approved by the Board of Nursing. The help they can provide includes holding the container, opening the container, handing the medication to the resident, assisting the resident in following the directions written on the original container and documenting in a log that the medication was taken. They are not permitted to assist with injections.
Every assisted living community in Delaware is required to have a director on staff. The director is responsible for ensuring that the community abides by state laws and regulations. Communities are also required to have a staffing plan that ensures that there is someone to serve as acting director when the director is not present. Assisted living communities also must have resident assistants who are responsible for providing direct care to the residents.
Communities must have a director of nursing who is an RN. In communities that have fewer than four beds, the director of nursing must be on site and on duty at least eight hours a week. Communities that have between 5 and 24 beds must have an on-site on-duty director of nursing at least 20 hours a week. Assisted living communities with more than 25 beds must have a full-time director of nursing.
While Delaware does not have a minimum staffing ratio, the expectation is that there will be enough trained, licensed and certified caregivers on site to provide for residents’ needs in accordance with state law. There should be at least one qualified staff member on site and awake 24 hours a day.
Staff Training Requirements
Delaware requires that any assisted living staff member, whether hired for a permanent or temporary position, goes through orientation. This orientation should cover a variety of topics, including fire safety and emergency disaster plans, first aid and CPR training, infection control, resident rights and reporting of abuse, neglect and mistreatment, job responsibilities and use of service agreements. Assisted living facilities are also required to provide at least 12 hours of annual training.
Background Checks for ALR Staff in Delaware
Every assisted living facility in Delaware is required to provide regular random drug testing of staff members. Prior to hiring a prospective employee, the community must obtain a criminal background check of the applicant from the Delaware Bureau of Identification and a report from the Delaware Health and Social Services.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
If any cases of abuse are observed or suspected, a member of staff is required to report the abuse to the Delaware Health and Social Services. Every staff member receives training on patients’ rights and how to recognize and report abuse.
If any cases of abuse, neglect, mistreatment or substandard conditions are reported, the community will receive an unannounced visit from the Delaware Health and Social Services.
Assisted Living Facilities in Delaware
Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Delaware
Caring.com’s Caring Stars award program recognizes the best assisted living facilities across the U.S. based on reviews from family caregivers and older adults. This award is meant to help older adults and their loved ones find the best assisted living or in-home care option in their area. The list below shows up to 10 listings that have won the most Caring Stars annual awards in their state, sorted by their current overall average rating. For a complete list of Caring Stars winners for each year, please visit our Caring Stars info center.
Sunrise Senior Living of Wilmington
Wilmington, DE $$$
Brandywine Living at Seaside Pointe
Rehoboth Beach, DE Cost Levels
Wilmington, DE $$
Foulk Manor North
Wilmington, DE Cost Levels
Wilmington, DE Cost Levels
Brandywine Living at Fenwick Island
Selbyville, DE Cost Levels
Paramount Senior Living at Newark
Newark, DE $$$
Somerford House & Place of Newark
Newark, DE Cost Levels
Lodge Lane Assisted Living
Wilmington, DE Cost Levels