Assisted Living in Utah
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Families looking for assisted living in Utah (UT) 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 172 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 11 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Utah will pay $3,350 per month on average.
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What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Utah
Assisted living in Utah is overseen by the Department of Health, Facility Licensing and Certification, which licenses two types of assisted living facilities (ALFs) in the state. These ALFs are classified as residences where the elderly can receive 24-hour care that maximizes their independence, dignity, choice, privacy and individuality.
An assisted living facility type I is an ALF that provides care and assistance with the activities of daily living to two or more residents who have retained enough mobility that they are able to leave the facility without help.
An assisted living facility type II is an ALF that delivers coordinated personal and health care services 24 hours per day to residents who may suffer from a cognitive impairment or a physical disability but do not require the assistance of more than one person to exit the facility.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Utah
In Utah, the state provides Medicaid assistance for seniors living in ALFs under the New Choices Waiver program.
New Choices Waiver Program
The New Choices Waiver Program offers Medicaid support to eligible seniors who are currently living in an ALF, nursing home or other care facilities. The program has only a designated number of slots, most of which are reserved for those wishing to move from a skilled nursing facility into a new community or those who have been receiving services in another waiver program and are ready for immediate admission to a new facility.
The program covers a full range of services for seniors or disabled adults who require access to care in their home or in a specialized facility.
Who Is Eligible?
In Utah, any senior over 65 years of age who is receiving social security disability benefits or supplemental security income is eligible for waiver programs. To be eligible for the New Choices Waiver Program, applicants must meet length-of-stay criteria and be an active resident of an approved facility. These requirements are updated periodically; seniors or caregivers interested in a full list of eligibility criteria are encouraged to contact the New Choices Waiver program office at (800)662-9651, option 6.
How to Apply
Due to the frequent updating of eligibility criteria for this waiver program, applicants must contact the New Choices Waiver program office at (800)66-9651, option 6, to apply.
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 Utah
In Utah, several nonprofit and government-funded agencies are in place to offer support to seniors and their caregivers in a number of ways. These places assist in finding appropriate long-term care and may also help in other areas of support, including financing advice, counseling and referrals to programs and services that may benefit the senior or their caregiver.
Utah Area Agencies on Aging
The Area Agencies on Aging is a network of more than 600 federally funded services available to seniors across the United States. In Utah, 12 locations provide seniors and their caregivers with a range of support services that include information and referrals for long-term care, case management, family caregiver support programs, social programs, money management advice and free transportation or meals. Check below for regional locations.
170 North Main St., Logan, UT 84321
237 26th St, Ogden, UT 84401
2001 South State Street S1-600, Salt Lake City, UT 84190-4575
22 South State Street, 3rd Floor, Clearfield, Utah 84015
47 S Main St, Tooele, UT 84074
435-843-3100 or 435-882-2870
586 East 800 North, Orem, Utah 84097
801-229-3800 or 801-229-3804
250 North Main Street, P.O. Box 820, Richfield, UT 84701
435-893-0721 or 435-896-9222
1060 West 1700 South, Building B, PO Box 1550, Saint George, UT 84770
435-673-3548 (St. George) or 435-586-2975 (Cedar City)
330 East 100, South Roosevelt, UT 84066
330 Aggie Blvd, Vernal, UT 84078
375 South Carbon Avenue, PO Box 1106, Price, UT 84501
117 South Main Street, PO Box 9, Monticello, UT 84535
Utah has multiple Veteran's Affairs centers that provide services to veterans and their families, including help with finding and financing home care and residential care for aging veterans. These offices also assist veterans and their families in understanding their eligibility for specific benefits and how to receive them.
Below is a list of VA centers in Utah and their contact information.
360 S. State Street, Bldg C Suite 103, Orem, UT 84058
22 West Fireclay Avenue (4295 S Main Street), Murray, UT 84107
2357 North Washington Blvd, Ogden, UT 84414
1664 South Dixie Drive, Suite C-102, Saint George, UT 84770
Eligible seniors may be able to access Social Security benefits to help them in paying for the cost of assisted living. There are several Social Security offices across the state where seniors can receive assistance in understanding their benefits. See below for a complete list of Utah's Social Security offices.
324 25th Street, Ogden, UT 84401
1-877-378-9081 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
1091 North Bluff St, Saint George, UT 84770
1-866-446-7085 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
175 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
1-866-851-5275 or TTY: 1-801-524-5047
10138 S Jordan Gtwy, South Jordan, UT 84095
1-866-690-1947 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
The Utah Long-Term Care Ombudsman ensures the protection of the rights of residents living in ALFs and other long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman Program accepts complaints on behalf of seniors from friends, family, facility staff or other visitors who witness mistreatment of residents, including abuse, neglect or exploitation. The Ombudsman works with the resident or representative to intervene on the resident's behalf and investigate the complaint.
Find your Long-Term Care Ombudsman here.
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Utah
Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements
In Utah, ALFs must perform an assessment before a new resident moves in, and again every six months during their residency. The assessment must be signed by a licensed health care professional. Within seven days of moving in, the assisted living facility must write an individualized service plan based on their assessment. This service plan should meet the resident's cognitive, medical, physical and social needs and is intended to describe which services must be delivered, and who, when, how often and by whom they'll be provided. This service plan is updated whenever needs or conditions change.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
Type I ALFs must admit residents who are mobile and capable of evacuating without assistance in the case of an emergency. Residents in type I ALFs must not need daily care beyond limited help with a maximum of two activities of daily living. The residents must arrange any regular medical care they require with a third party.
Type II ALFs may admit residents who are independent or semi-independent and who need assistance with any amount of activities of daily living, provided the facility can meet the medical and service needs of the resident.
Neither facility is allowed to admit a resident who requires skilled nursing care or hospital care, or anyone who is a danger to themselves, staff or residents. Residents may not have active tuberculosis or any other communicable disease unless it can be adequately treated in the ALF or on an outpatient basis by a third party.
If residents need hospice care, they may be admitted only if they meet all other laws and regulations of that facility. In the event that a type I or type II ALF is no longer able to meet the resident's needs, they may release them and recommend care in a more advanced facility.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Both type I and type II ALFs are required to offer personal care, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, activity programs, medication administration and assistance in arranging medical and dental care. Facilities may employ nursing staff who provide assessment, health monitoring and medication administration.
Type II ALFs are mandated to provide residents with substantial support with activities of daily living, nursing services and additional supervision or coordination. Residents in type II ALFs must receive a services plan that includes specified intermittent nursing service and support services that promote independence and self-sufficiency. These ALFs must employ or contract a registered nurse who is responsible for supervising assessments, performing general health monitoring and delegating routine nursing tasks.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
ALFs in Utah accept Medicaid to pay for services delivered to residents via the New Choices Waiver Program. The waiver program only provides coverage for seniors:
- Over the age of 65 who have been previously covered by another Medicaid waiver program
- Have been covered by Medicaid and living in a nursing home for at least 90 days and want to relocate to an ALF
- Have been residing in an ALF for at least 180 days
Utah does not provide a Supplemental Security Income payment to residents of ALFs. However, room-and-board costs may be negotiated privately with residents, and family supplementation is allowed.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
Residents of both type I and type II ALFs are required to have their own private unit unless they have requested in writing to share with another resident. In the event that a resident wishes to share a unit, that unit must not be shared by more than two individuals.
Units must have a living space, sleeping space and optional kitchen space. In type I ALFs, there must be one toilet for every six residents and one shower or bathtub for every 10 residents if the units do not have private bathrooms. In type II ALFs without a private bathroom, a toilet and sink must be available for every four residents and a bathtub or shower for every 10 residents. If residential units don't have a private bathroom, there must be one bathroom per floor that has enough space to allow staff to assist and is fully equipped with a shower or tub, sink and toilet.
Medicaid waiver participants must be offered apartment-style units.
Medication Management Regulations
A licensed health professional is required to assess all residents upon move-in to determine their need for medication assistance and categorize them into one of the following:
- The resident may self-administer medications
- The resident may self-administer medications with assistance (reminders, help opening containers, reminders to refill prescriptions)
- Family members may administer medications
- Facility staff may administer medications
Staff administering medications must be licensed and under the delegation and supervision of a licensed health care professional. Medications must be reviewed by a pharmacist or other licensed health care professional at least once every six months.
Family members or a designated caregiver who is assisting with medications must sign a waiver that indicates they are willing to assume the responsibility of filling prescriptions, administering medications and documenting the administration.
In a type I ALF, a registered nurse must be available as needed to oversee the administration of medications for residents who are unable to self-administer. Additionally, the assisted living facility must employ an administrator who is responsible for recruiting, hiring and training an appropriate number of licensed and unlicensed staff, including direct care staff and a licensed nurse (either employed or contracted). The administrator is required to be on the premises for a sufficient number of hours to effectively manage staff and must designate, in writing, another employee aged 21 or older to act in the administrator's absence. There are no minimum staff ratios in type I ALFs.
Type II assisted living facilities are subject to the same staffing requirements as type I ALFs, and in addition, they must employ certified nurse aids, one of whom must be on duty 24 hours per day. A licensed nurse must also be contracted or on staff to delegate and oversee nursing duties. There are no minimum staff ratios in type II ALFs.
Staff Training Requirements
Both type I and type II ALFs must provide all staff with an orientation that includes the following:
- Job descriptions
- Resident's rights
- Fire and disaster plans
- Policies and procedures
- Reporting responsibility for abuse, neglect and exploitation
In-service training must also be offered and must be tailored to meet the specific subjects that are relevant to the employee's job. Training may include:
- Nutrition and food preparation
- Housekeeping standards
- Personal and social care
- Medication assistance
- Accident prevention
- Communication skills that enhance residents' dignity
- First aid
- Residents' rights and reporting requirements
- Needs of residents with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia
Background Checks for ALR Staff in Utah
All staff at both type I and type II are required to undergo criminal background checks.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
Utah is concerned about elder abuse and the Department of Human Services Aging and Adult Services Division has a 24 hour online reporting tool or you may call 1-800-371-7897 during business hours. You may also file a specific complaint against a facility at the Utah Department of Health Licensing Bureau.
Assisted Living Facilities in Utah
Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Utah
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.
Pacifica Senior Living Millcreek
Salt Lake City, UT $$
Courtyard at Jamestown Assisted Living
Provo, UT $
Clearfield, UT $$
Rocky Mountain Care Grove Creek Assisted Living
Lindon, UT $$
Southgate Senior Living
Saint George, UT $$
Legacy House of Bountiful
Bountiful, UT $$
Truewood by Merrill, Taylorsville
Taylorsville, UT Cost Levels
American Fork, UT $$
Cedarwood at Sandy
Sandy, UT $
Fairfield Village of Layton
Layton, UT $$