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Assisted Living exceeds Independent Living services by offering basic healthcare oversight and medication management. Assisted Living Communities are regulated. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Department of Social Services routinely inspects and verifies compliance with regulations. Assisted Living Communities are required to offer meals, snacks, engaging activities, housekeeping, and laundry services. Residents of Assisted Living Communities will also get assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, and feeding. The care services are provided mostly by certified nurse aides (CNA), and medications are administered by registered medication aides (RMA). Both CNAs and RMAs are licensed healthcare professionals and report to the Board of Nursing.
While Virginia law does not require a licensed nurse to be on site every day, most Assisted Living Communities have a licensed practical nurse (LPN) who serves as the director of nursing and oversees the residents’ healthcare needs. Some Assisted Living Communities may have a nurse in the community around the clock. However, this does not mean it is a nursing home! Regulations determine what clinical services Assisted Living Communities can offer and when they must deny a move-in or initiate a discharge. (Make sure to read our blog titled “When is Assisted Living Not an Option").
Assisted Living Communities have “level of care” fees that correlate with the documented care needs. The cost of Assisted Living services is often covered by Long Term Care Insurance, depending on the policy details.