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Assisted Living Arizona - An Overview of Assisted Living Facilities in Arizona

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Assisted living is generally defined as a residence that offers services for seniors who need help with aspects of daily living. However, the state of Arizona further defines the difference between an assisted living center, facility, or home. According to the Department of Health of Arizona, an “assisted living center” is an assisted living residence that provides housing to a minimum of eleven people; an “assisted living facility” is a residential care institution, including adult day care, that provides all levels of care services on a continuing basis; and an “assisted living home” or “home” refers to an assisted living facility that provides rooms to a maximum of ten residents.
Assisted living may include adult day care, Alzheimer’s care centers, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC).

Assisted living facilities in Arizona must be licensed by the Department of Health Services, Division of Licensing Services. Facilities are required to comply with resident rights, food service requirements, administration requirements, abuse reporting, and resident agreements. Residents in Arizona assisted living facilities may receive nursing services or health-related services from a licensed home health care agency, hospice service agency, or private nurse. However, in Arizona, assisted living facilities must not accept or keep any person requiring restraints (physical or chemical), behavioral health services, or any service that the assisted living facility is not licensed or able to provide.

All assisted living facilities in Arizona must be in compliance with local building codes, ordinances, fire codes, and zoning requirements. Private bedrooms must be a minimum of 80 square feet and shared bedrooms must be a minimum of 60 square feet per person. Arizona law also states that a maximum of two people are permitted per bedroom; and shared bathrooms are allowed as long as there is at least one full bathroom for every eight residents.

In Arizona assisted living facilities, there are three licensed levels of care services: “Supervisory Care”, “Personal Care”, and “Directed Care". “Supervisory Care” refers to general supervision. Staff should observe the resident’s daily functioning and needs. This level can also include assistance in self-administration of medications. “Personal Care” means assistance with daily living activities, such as administration of medicines and treatments; however, continuous nursing services is not offered. The key here is that residents must be able to care for themselves. Lastly, assisted living facilities that offer “Directed Care" means they offer programs and services to residents with an inability to express need, to ask for help, to recognize danger, or to make basic care decisions. Arizona assisted living facilities licensed to provide “Personal Care” services and “Directed Care” services must ensure that their residents receiving either level of care not be bed bound, have stage III or IV pressure sores, or require continuous nursing services (unless the resident is under the care of a licensed hospice service agency or nursing services are being provided by a private nurse).

According to the 2010 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Arizona, per month, was $2,600 with a median cost of $3,050 (based on 49 facilities with a minimum cost of $1,100 and a maximum of $6,500).

The major cities of Arizona that feature assisted living facilities are: Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City, and Tucson.

For further information on the rules and regulations of assisted living in Arizona, contact the Arizona Department of Health Services, Division of Assurance and Licensure, Office of Assisted Living Licensure at (602) 364-2639.

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