Assisted Living Program Homes
Each year, large numbers of elderly Maryland residents, historically, have been unnecessarily admitted to Nursing Homes due to a lack of options between independent living and institutional care. In view of this situation and the effect it was having on publicly supported costs of nursing home care, the 1976 Maryland General Assembly approved an innovative program of Senior Assisted Care under Article 70B of the Annotated Code.
New regulations governing assisted living facilities were subsequently approved by the General Assembly under COMAR 10.07.14 as of January 1, 1999 and amended on December 29, 2009. The Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) now licenses all assisted living homes, although the regulatory oversight of 4 to 16 person homes has been largely delegated to the Maryland Department of Aging and local Area Agencies on Aging.
Assisted living facilities provide services in non-institutional settings to meet the needs of adults who require assistance in carrying out activities of daily living, including taking their medications, bathing, dressing, eating, and grooming. Among these ADLs, medication and nutritional deficits represent the principal reasons for needing assisted living services. Other instrumental activities of daily living, such as shopping for personal needs or arranging for medical services, are also offered by the assisted living proprietor or coordinated with family members and/or local community agencies.
Each home provides a level of care (high, moderate, or low) for which the program has been licensed and approved by the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality. Each resident, in turn, is assessed to determine his or her particular level of care.
In order to be licensed as an assisted living program, home providers must follow the procedure delineated by in COMAR 10.07.14.07, including the procurement of county zoning, life safety and building code approvals. Homes are subsequently evaluated yearly for license renewal. Additional monitoring and investigations are conducted to ensure regulatory compliance. Statements of survey deficiencies findings of complaint investigations, and plans of correction are available for review at each facility.
Financial help to residents is accessible in many assisted living programs through the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver. Residents must be financially and medically eligible; and providers must accept a fee covering costs from combined federal/state and client’s contributions. In addition, a state subsidy covering a partial cost of the monthly fee may be available to residents in the majority of homes serving four to sixteen residents.
For further information on assisted living program homes and financial assistance, please contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, Information and Assistance/MAP Program at either (410) 222-4464 (v) or (800) 492-2499 (v) or (410) 222-4355 (tty).