Jackie Tatsak, President & Concierge 813-928-6494

SENIOR LIVING INFORMATION


As I stated on my home page, this journey is difficult to navigate.  I have found over the years as an Administrator that the first misconception about assisted living is that insurance pays for it.  IT DOESN'T!  Assisted Living is mainly private pay, although there are VA benefits available to veterans and widowed spouses and Medicaid benefits.  Both of these take time for qualification, and there are income and asset limits.  If there is a long-term care policy, congratulations for planning!  However, these also have restrictions.  As I have said, this is not an easy journey!


 The following information should further clarify why you need a professional to assist you in your search.


 In Pinellas County, there are approximately 200 assisted living facilities (ALFs) or approximately 9,200 licensed beds.  The median cost as of 2015 was $3150 for a one bedroom apartment.  In addition, there are 15 Adult Care Homes (ACHs) or 72 beds.  There are also 70 Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) or 8,900 beds. 


To add to the confusion, there are 4 types of ALF licenses:  Standard, Extended Congregate Care (ECC), Limited Nursing Services (LNS), and Limited Mental Health (LMH). 


Standard Assisted Living:  Provides full-time living in the least restrictive and most home-like setting.  Living arrangements can be private apartments or rooms or shared accommodations.  The communities range from 5 residents to several hundred.  Basic services include:

  • Housing, nutritional meals, and special diets
  • Personal care with activities of daily living (ADLs) - bathing, dressing, grooming, walking, eating, and transfers
  • Medication assistance
  • Resident supervision
  • Health care service arrangements
  • Transportation to health care services
  • Health monitoring
  • PLANNED SOCIAL AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES


LNS License:  Provides basic services of a standard license as well as nursing services provide by licensed nurses within the scope of their nursing practice (e.g. certain feeding tubes, splint and brace care,  and catheter and colostomy care).  The resident still must meet admission and continued residency criteria.  Although there are numerous reasons for not meeting residency requirements, the two main reasons are that the resident cannot transfer without a 2-person assist or requires IV antibiotics. 


ECC License:  Allows a resident to age in place by providing the basic services of assisted living and LNS services and assessments.  In addition:

  • Total assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and feeding
  • Measurement and recording of vital signs and weight
  • Dietary management, including special diets, monitoring nutrition, food, and fluid intake


LMH License:  Must be obtained if the ALF serves one or more mental health residents.


To further complicate the process, many companies have their own policies which are stricter than State guidelines.  For example, many companies choose not to employ nurses around the clock.  If a nurse is not on-site 24/7, the community cannot manage oxygen care or diabetics who require insulin more than twice a day.  Even communities with an ECC or LNS license sometimes choose not to provide certain care. 


There is much more information that I cannot fit on my web site.  For more information on financial resources, definitions, requirements, and advocacy, I suggest you visit www.floridahealthfinder.gov or www.ahca.myflorida.com