Assisted Living in Nebraska
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Families looking for assisted living in Nebraska (NE) 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 114 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 15 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Nebraska will pay $3,844 per month on average.
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What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Nebraska
Nebraska defines assisted living facilities (ALFs) as facilities that provide regular care and that house residents who use the ALF staff for at least 25 percent of routine personal and professional services. Assisted living communities house a minimum of four residents, all of whom must be unrelated to the administrator or owner/operator, and provide shelter, food and care included but not limited to the activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care and other types of support.
Some ALFs offer specialized care for residents with dementia and other cognitive conditions. Those facilities must follow additional regulations as detailed by the Alzheimer’s Special Care Disclosure Act. For more information about these dedicated facilities, visit our Nebraska Memory Care page.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Nebraska
Home and Community Services Aged & Disabled Waiver (ADW)
The Aged & Disabled Waiver is a Medicaid-sponsored subsidy that helps seniors with a range of essential services, such as plan and provider coordination, in-home help, caregiver relief, independence training and assisted living.
Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for Medicaid’s Aged & Disabled Waiver, seniors must first be eligible for Medicaid. They must also be recommended for nursing home care but prefer an alternative, such as home care or assisted living, and be able to safely live in those environments.
How to Apply
To apply for the ADW, visit the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services website or call (800) 358-8802.
The federal government offers a stipend to low-income seniors to help them pay for services such as assisted living, and the State of Nebraska further subsidizes that amount. This benefit is called Supplemental Security Income, and it’s offered under the auspices of the Social Security Administration.
Who is Eligible?
Individuals interested in SSI benefits must be citizens of the United States, currently living in the United States and either over the age of 65 or blind or disabled. There are also income and personal resource limits in place.
How to Apply
For more information or to apply for SSI, visit the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services website, call (800) 772-1213 or contact your nearest Social Security Administration office.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all assisted living facilities in Nebraska accept the subsidies listed above. Some may accept one over the other, while some communities refuse such subsidies altogether. It’s therefore essential that applicants ask each facility what type of payments they accept and whether or not they have any in-house programs to help low-income seniors pay for long-term care.
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 Nebraska
Seniors and their loved ones looking for assistance during their assisted living search can find help from Nebraska’s numerous nonprofits and government-funded agencies. These organizations offer resources addressing everything from financing concerns to military benefits, making the path to long-term care as stress-free as possible.
Nebraska Association of Area Agencies on Aging (NAAAA)
The Nebraska Association of Area Agencies on Aging is a network of offices that offer resources and advocacy to the state’s older residents. The NAAAA takes its responsibilities, including social services and protection, very seriously, and their website has information that many seniors and their representatives find helpful.
For a list of services or to find the nearest office, visit the NAAAA’s website.
1517 Broadway, Suite 122, Scottsbluff, NE 69361
1005 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
103 Eastside Blvd, Beatrice, NE 68310
4223 Center Street, Omaha, NE 68104
2727 West 2nd Street #440, Hastings, NE 68901
119 W Norfolk Avenue, Norfolk, NE 68701
301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509
PO Box 368, Macy, NE 68039
RR 2, Box 5112, Niobrara, NE 68760
620 E. 25th Street, Ste 12, Kearney, NE 68847
115 North Vine St., North Platte, NE 69101
PO Box 687, Winnebago, NE 68071
Seniors who served in the military and family members of those veterans may be eligible for services and benefits provided by the Veterans Administration Centers in Nebraska. These centers specialize in helping vets and their spouses explore senior care options and find financial assistance as needed.
To learn more about benefits related to specific military service, contact one of the VA Centers listed below:
Social Security is a federal program that offers assistance for seniors nationwide; however, many programs related to medical care and assisted living are either run or facilitated at the state level.
For more information on Social Security benefits and related initiatives such as SSI, contact the nearest SS office in Nebraska using the contact information listed below:
115 N Webb Rd, Grand Island, NE 68803
1-877-407-3441 or TTY: 1-308-385-6453
100 Centennial Mall N, Lincoln, NE 68508
1-866-593-2880 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
605 Iron Horse Dr, Norfolk, NE 68701
1-855-207-7082 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
300 E 3rd St, North Platte, NE 69101
1-866-830-0668 or TTY: 1-308-534-0441
604 N 109th Ct, Omaha, NE 68154
1-866-716-8299 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
415 Valley View Dr, Scottsbluff, NE 69361
1-800-297-4291 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
The Nebraska Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is staffed by volunteers dedicated to advocating for residents of the state’s long-term care facilities. The program emphasizes the importance of privacy, autonomy, respect and individuality, and volunteers are trained to protect the senior’s rights in relation to caregivers, facilities and healthcare fraud.
To direct a care-related concern to an ombudsman, use the contact information below:
PO Box 95026, Lincoln, NE 68509
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Nebraska
Nebraska has a comprehensive set of rules in place that regulate operations in the state’s assisted living facilities. The following entries encompass some of the most important provisions and policies from the state code:
Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements
Upon admittance, each resident must receive an assessment and a corresponding service plan (a resident services agreement) that address which services will be provided, who will deliver those services, and how and when those services will take place. Service plans must be regularly updated to reflect any changes in the resident’s needs.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
Admission to an ALF and ongoing retention is at the discretion of the facility’s administrator, who has a lot of leeway. However, that administrator’s decision must reflect the Assisted-Living Facility Act. Generally, applicants are expected to both need and want ongoing shelter, food and help with personal care and both medical and daily living activities.
Those who display violent or otherwise disruptive behavior are typically not admitted in an assisted living facility.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Assisted living facilities in Nebraska are permitted to provide a wide range of services, including the following:
- Help with personal care
- Assistance with the activities of daily living
- Health maintenance activities
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Financial management
- Case management
- Behavioral management
- Spiritual services
- Personal beauty and salon services
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Medicaid subsidies may be an option for low-income seniors in Nebraska looking for help paying for assisted living, but not all facilities accept these subsidies. To find out if a specific ALF accepts Medicaid programs such as SSI and the Aged & Disabled Waiver, ask them about their Medicaid policy.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
Residential units in Nebraska's assisted living facilities may be either individual bedrooms or apartment style, but apartment-style accommodations are not required. ALFs who choose to offer apartments must ensure those units have a sleeping area as well as a kitchen area and private bathroom.
Other facility requirements depend on the age of the facility.
Facilities built before April 3, 2007, must have:
- No more than four residents per unit
- A toilet and sink for every six beds
- At least one bathing area for every 16 residents
Facilities built after April 3, 2007, must have:
- No more than two residents per unit
- A toilet and sink for every four beds
- At least one bathing area for every 8 residents
- A toilet room attached to every bedroom
Medication Management Regulations
All medication policies at assisted living facilities in Nebraska must be overseen by a registered nurse (RN) who will review those policies, oversee aide/administration training and document findings on an annual basis at a minimum.
There are three ways assisted living residents can receive their medications:
- Self-administration, with or without the supervision of on-site staff
- Administered by a licensed health care professional
- Administered by a trained, competent and professional directed medication aide
In general, medication administration in ALFs follows the Medication Aide Act and aides must be trained in the following:
- How to handle, store and provide medications to residents
- How to properly document medications
- Directions for managers/supervisors monitoring medication aides
- Directions for providing medications according to the needs of the existing resident population
Each ALF must have an administrator tasked with not just overseeing operations but also ensuring that the proper planning and organization of service takes place. That administrator must also empower a second in command who can take over managerial duties if the administrator is absent from the facility.
Nebraska has no law detailing minimum staff-to-resident ratios. However ALFs must have sufficient staff on site to meet all resident needs. In addition, there must at all times be at least one staff who is on duty, awake and ready to assist residents.
Staff Training Requirements
All assisted living facility staff who have direct interactions with residents must complete an orientation upon hire as well as ongoing training that covers general job duties as well as topics specific to the needs of the current resident population. Continuing education must total at least 12 hours per year.
Within six months of assuming his or her position, every assisted living facility administrator must complete training to include 30 hours on the following topics:
- General resident care and services
- Social services
- Financial management
- Overarching rules and regulations pertaining to ALFs
Administrators must also commit to continuing education totaling at least 12 hours of training per year.
Administrators with an active nursing home or hospital administrator's license are exempt from both types of training detailed above.
Background Checks for ALR Staff in Nebraska
Every staff member who will have direct contact with residents must undergo a criminal background check and be run through the sex offender registry, the adult central registry for abuse and neglect, the child central registry of abuse and neglect and the nurse aide registry to determine suitability for employment.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
Physicians, nurses, physician and nursing assistants, mental health professionals, human service professionals and AFL owners, operators and employees are just some of the individuals who are mandated by law to report suspected or witnessed elder abuse to the proper authorities. Anyone who suspects elder abuse should contact local law enforcement or call the elder abuse hotline at (800) 652-1999 with the following information:
- Basic information on the vulnerable adult
- Basic information on the caregiver
- Details regarding the expected abuse
- Any evidence of previous abuse
- Any other pertinent information
Assisted Living Facilities in Nebraska
Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Nebraska
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.
Elk Ridge Village Retirement Community
Elkhorn, NE Cost Levels
Brighton Gardens of Omaha
Omaha, NE $$$
Ridgewood Retirement Community
Bennington, NE Cost Levels
Bellevue, NE $$$
The Woodlands at Hillcrest
Lincoln, NE $$$
Omaha, NE Cost Levels
The Windcrest on Van Dorn
Lincoln, NE $$$
The Waterford at Woodbridge
Plattsmouth, NE $$$