Requirements to live in an assisted living facility vary based on the facility's capabilities, but typically, individuals must be able to care for themselves physically and require minimal assistance with daily tasks. Assisted living facilities are generally restricted to senior citizens or the disabled who do not require daily skilled nursing care.
Assisted living facilities are usually not required to have a skilled physician or nurse on site and are not licensed to provide skilled nursing care that is authorized by Medicare or Medicaid, so it is important that residents are not fragile or in severe failing health. People who have severe mental or cognitive impairments, behavioral problems due to memory loss or dementia, and require assistance with walking are discouraged from living in assisted living facilities. Residents are required to pay for monthly rental fees and meals if they opt for a food plan.
Assisted living facilities provide residents with private or semiprivate apartments that may be furnished. Most facilities feature central dining programs for daily meals, emergency call systems, housekeeping and maintenance, and transportation arrangements. Social activities within the facilities or planned field trips are commonly offered to keep residents social and active. Some facilities host wellness programs, exercise classes and game nights for residents.