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Assisted Living Qualifications

2024-02-20 00:00:00

Does My Loved One Qualify for Assisted Living? 


It’s difficult to know the right time to move your loved one into a senior living community. Many older adults would rather age in place, and understandably so. However, some seniors make the move purely to enhance their social life, health and exercise, and to drastically simplify their lives. And sometimes the level of care they require is just too much for you or your family to provide at home. 

When you start exploring senior living options, it’s important to know what type of community will be the best fit for your loved one. At this point, your primary question is probably “independent living or assisted living?

These two options might seem similar at first glance, but there are some important distinctions that can help you choose what your loved one most needs. Independent living is open to almost everyone but care services may not be available. When care is needed, assisted living or in-home services need to be coordinated. Many senior living communities have both independent and assisted living options and understanding how that future need might play out becomes an important distinction when finding the right setting. 

Let’s review some common considerations to help you decide if your loved one may need assisted living in the near future or will benefit from a community offering both types of living options. 


Most senior living communities have a minimum age requirement for residents. It’s often close to retirement age — 65 — but some accept people as young as 55. 

If you’re concerned about an age requirement, call the communities you are considering and speak with one of the representatives. They will let you know about their age policies and help you consider options if your loved one is facing early-onset symptoms or complications of aging, such as safety concerns, medication management needs or memory impairments. 

Level of Support Needed

Assisted living is largely defined by the types of care services it offers. These communities can provide both medical and non-medical care to residents for conditions that are stable and predictable. 

The most common reason someone would choose assisted living over independent living is because they need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs include eating, dressing, bathing and using the restroom, among other things. Assisted living staff are trained to help with both personal care services and supportive services to ensure your family member is as comfortable as possible.

Keep in mind that in some assisted living communities services do not include significant medical care, as you would see in a hospital, rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility. However, the staff can help with routine medical tasks such as medication management, taking and monitoring vitals and pairing residents with physical therapists or other specialists that partner with their facility. When you talk with representatives at the communities you are considering, make sure to ask them what level of care they can provide in their assisted living.

Health Condition 

If your loved one is struggling with a chronic or serious health condition, this does not automatically disqualify them from assisted living eligibility. 

In general, assisted living residents simply need to be predictable and stable so the care team can safely meet their needs. Any chronic or underlying conditions will need to be under control and managed in collaboration with their doctor. 

If your loved one requires more intensive medical care or monitoring, then it’s possible they need to consider a skilled nursing facility instead to ensure they receive the long-term care they need.


Finally, consider your loved one’s level of mobility to ensure the care team is equipped to help them navigate their new community. In independent living, most residents are able to move around on their own with or without a mobility aid. 

If your loved one needs a little help moving around, assisted living will likely be a better fit for them. The community staff can accommodate any mobility needs or disabilities by providing hands-on help with standing, sitting, and walking. They can also provide mobility aids such as a cane, walker, wheelchair or caregiver escort to ensure your loved one stays safe and active.

Who Does Not Qualify?

In addition to the criteria mentioned above, there are some situations that do not qualify for residency in an assisted living community.

  • People who require significant medical care or skilled nursing services will not qualify for assisted living. These individuals will be better served  in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility where the staff can provide the higher level of care they need.
  • People with significant memory loss, such as those with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, do not qualify for assisted living because they often have special care needs and require tailored activities in their day. However, many assisted living communities also have a memory care community for these residents. 

Does Your Loved One Qualify? 

Choosing the right care community for your loved one is a big decision. If you suspect they would be happiest in an assisted living community but aren’t sure if they qualify for that type of care, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you make the best choice for the person you love.



February 20, 2024

Your Guide to Finding the Right Senior Living for Your Loved Ones

Finding the right senior living for your loved ones to call home can feel overwhelming. We believe it's our job to make that task a little bit easier.

That's why we created a simple guide to help you start the conversation.

Guide Cover

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