Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted Living Facilities

An Assisted Living Facility (ALF) is a housing option for people who require more assistance than Home Health Care may provide but less assistance than a Nursing Home provides. ALF’s may provide an entire apartment, a single room or a shared room, 24-hour staffing, assistance with personal care and dispensing medication, housekeeping, laundry, activities, and other services that allow adults to stay in the community. The cost varies considerably.


The Assisted Living Facility may require you to sign a rental agreement that includes the cost of your rent, what health services are included and the added cost for additional care services.  The rental agreement may specify when you are no longer medically eligible to remain in the ALF. You may be required to provide 30 days notice before moving out or risk paying a penalty.

To obtain a list of licensed Assisted Living Facilities from the RI Department of Health Licensee List click the button below.

To have an idea of what it is like to transition into an ALF long term care facility watch “The Thin Edge of Dignity by Dick Weinman”

Once you locate an ALF near you:

  • Schedule a visit to tour the facility and eat a meal
  • Talk with the Staff, Residents and Families
  • Use your 6 senses
    • What do you see? Is it clean, do residents appear well cared for, is it a decor you like, are staff easily identifiable & available
    • What do you hear? Are staff polite to each other, how do they address residents, are there call lights ringing unanswered, are residents yelling for assistance
    • What do you smell? Do you smell body odors, or a port-a-potty on a hot summer day, staff perfume/cologne, strong cleaning chemicals-bleach/ammonia/air freshners,
    • What do you feel? Is the floor tacky, are salt & pepper shakers sticky, handrails smooth and in reach
    • What do you taste? Is the food good, does the menu have variety and appealing alternatives
    • What does your gut tell you? would you fit in with other residents, do you like the overall environment
  • Make an unscheduled visit at another time such as an evening or weekend

Visiting an Assisted Living Facility

You may wish to download and print The Nursing Home Checklist created by Medicare.

  • Find a few Assisted Living facilities near you or your family & friends
  • Schedule a visit to tour the facility and eat a meal
  • Talk with the Staff, Residents and Families
  • Make an unscheduled visit at another time such as an evening or weekend

Health Care and Services:

  • What medical services are provided by the facility?
  • Can residents retain their personal physician if they wish?
  • Will a resident be moved out of the facility if additional care is needed?
  • Are rehabilitation programs and therapies offered on site, as appropriate?
  • If applicable, does the facility meet the Alzheimer’s Association criteria?
  • Does the facility offer specialized programs or services?


  • What is the facility’s staff to resident ration on each shift & on weekends? Note: There are NO State or Federal regulations  regarding minimum staffing.
  • What is the staff longevity?
  • How are prospective employees screened?
  • What kind of training do new employees receive?
  • Is staff trained to work with individuals with dementia or behavioral problems?


  • Is there adequate privacy and space in resident rooms?
  • What personal possessions are permitted in resident rooms?  Is storage available?
  • How are items protected from theft? Does your room door lock? Who has a key?
  • Does each room have its own bathroom and shower or is it shared? If shared, by how many?
  • What are the policies on transfer and relocation of residents?
  • Are tv, cable, wi-fi and telephone included in the rate?,
  • Does each room have it’s own heat & air conditioning thermostat? If not, where is the control?
  • Is transportation provided for shopping or doctors visits?
  • Is there a Memory Care Unit?

Meals and Resident Activities:

  • Are meals served in an appealing manner and at proper temperature?
  • Are there food choices?
  • Are there accommodations for special diets? (Kosher, Gluten Free, Vegan etc)
  • Are snacks and drinks available between meals?
  • Is there an active residents’ council?
  • Are religious services or special events held at or outside the facility and what is scheduled?
  • Are there activities offered everyday including evenings and weekends?

Family Visits:

  • What are the facility’s policies concerning visitors?
  • Are family members permitted to join relatives for occasional meals? Is there a fee?

Payment Policies:

  • What is included in the daily/monthly rate?
  • Is the facility approved to accept Medicare or Medicaid patients?
  • What is the billing and payment policy?
  • Are there any additional charges?
  • How long will the bed be held if the resident is hospitalized? What is the bed hold fee?

Facility Environment:

  • Do the residents appear to be well cared for, properly groomed, and dressed appropriately for the season and time of day?
  • Do staff seem to be friendly, caring and accommodating to residents, visitors and others?
  • Do staff members respond promptly to resident’s requests?
  • Is the facility clean?
  • Are there strong odors in the facility?
  • Is the facility well maintained, pleasing, and cheerful?
  • Are the exits clearly marked and accessible?

Survey Reports:

  • When was the facility’s last survey conducted?
  • Is the most recent survey report available in the facility? If so, where?
  • Have cited deficiencies been corrected?
  • If corrected, when and how were they corrected?
  • How will the facility prevent them from recurring?
  • If deficiencies are not yet corrected, what is the facility’s plan for correcting?

Suspicion of Abuse (physical, sexual, financial exploitation and property theft) should be reported to the police and to the following:


Department of Health Facilities  Regulation


RI Attorney General Patient Abuse or Neglect, Medicaid Fraud & Drug Diversion Unit

274-4400 x2269

RI Long Term Care Ombudsman



The VA does NOT contract with any assisted living facilities.

If you are eligible, the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit may be able to defray the cost of an Assisted Living.

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