Overview of North Carolina Assisted Living
A varied landscape of beaches, mountains and coastal plains combined with a rich state history make North Carolina an attractive destination for retirees. The “Old North State” is home to many historical landmarks including Civil War Battlefields and the USS North Carolina Battleship of World War II fame.
Seniors who choose assisted living in North Carolina will enjoy breathtaking scenery that includes the Appalachian Mountains, 175 miles of beaches in the Outer Banks and the vast plains of the Piedmont region.
Cost of North Carolina Assisted Living
The average cost of assisted living in North Carolina is $3,000 per month. This is higher than the national average which is $2,877 per month.
Paying for Assisted Living in North Carolina
North Carolina operates the State-County Special Assistance Program to help low-income families pay for the cost of assisted living facilities. Medicaid can also be a source of monetary support for residents who meet income qualifications. For those who don’t meet the requirements of these programs, the cost of assisted living is left to residents and their families.
Assisted Living in North Carolina Defined
Assisted living in North Carolina is defined as “any group housing and services program for two or more unrelated adults, that makes available, at minimum, one meal a day and housekeeping services and provides personal care services directly or through a formal written agreement with one or more licensed home care or hospice agencies.”
Assisted living in North Carolina can be broken down into three types of residences:
- Adult care homes are for seniors who require 24-hour supervision and assistance with personal care needs. Medical care is not routinely needed but it may be provided on occasion.
- Group homes for developmentally disabled adults cater to this specific population. These group homes are licensed to house up to nine residents.
- Multi-unit assisted housing communities are made up of apartments or other residential living arrangements where special services allow seniors to maintain independence while having special needs met.
Regulation of North Carolina Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living in North Carolina is regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Division of Health Service Regulation. Facilities in North Carolina are rated on a star system based on criteria made by the state legislature with input from residents and their families. Ratings are confirmed during two- or three-day inspections made on an annual basis.
Staff members at assisted living homes in North Carolina must complete 80 hours of training within six months of hire. Administrators follow a 120-hour certified training program.
Legislation of North Carolina Assisted Living Facilities
In 2012, the Medicaid eligibility requirements for North Carolina citizens were revised by the North Carolina legislature. One of these revisions established requirements of protecting the income of couples when one spouse is living at home while the other spouse is a nursing facility.
There is still an issue regarding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ approval of North Carolina’s Medicaid State Plan Amendment Application that addresses a new benefit for Medicaid-eligible seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. At issue is whether assisted living communities can provide care for seniors needing memory care services. For updates related to this issue, visit the North Carolina Assisted Living Association.
Senior Homes has an extensive directory of senior living options, with care and living providers across the United States.
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