My siblings and I have been visiting assisted living communities in Westchester County, New York for our 82 year old mother. One thing that we’ve noticed is how some communities refer to themselves as enriched housing and others as an assisted living residence. We are a little confused by this terminology. Is there a difference? If so, what is it? -David in Westchester
Adult Home: The Department of Health’s definition of an adult home is defined as an adult care facility established and operated for the purpose of providing long-term residential care, room, board, housekeeping, personal care and supervision to five or more adults not related to the operator.
Enriched Housing: An Enriched Housing Program means an adult care facility established and operated for the purpose of providing long-term residential care to five or more adults, primarily persons 65 years of age or older, in a community-integrated setting resembling independent housing units. Such programs must provide or arrange for the provision of room and provide board, housekeeping, personal care and supervision.
Assisted Living Residence (ALR): is an entity which provides or arranges for housing, on site monitoring and personal care services and or home care services (either directly or indirectly) in a home-like setting to five or more adult residents unrelated to the assisted living provider. ALRs must develop an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) for each resident along with daily food service, twenty-four hour on site monitoring, and case management services. Residents must be provided with considerate and respectful care and promote the residents dignity, autonomy, independence and privacy in the least restrictive and most home-like setting commensurate with the residents preferences and physical and mental status. It’s important to know that all assisted living communities are not licensed by the DOH. In fact, there are many “Look-a-Like” communities out there.
Under the ALR, communities have the option to provide both Enhanced and Special Needs programs which will enable the residents to “age in place” if they have applied and been issued certificates from the DOH.
Special Needs programs: provides services to those residents with cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Enhanced programs: is for those residents who go beyond the retention standards of the Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program. These services can be provided by qualified in-house staff or a licensed home care agency.
Full disclosure of services will be provided in the community’s residency/admission agreement so it is important to read the agreement thoroughly and ask questions. All licensed communities have a Consumer’s Guide to Assisted Living which may be very helpful. Feel free to ask for one or you can access one online here.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to be honest about the condition of the potential resident. The more we know, the better it is for the resident.