PBS: Navigating Assisted Living Options

For around the clock care needs of older adults, there are several options worth exploring from level of care to costs, writes PBS in a column published this week.

The public news outlet, which has produced a series of TV and print coverage on assisted living in recent months, details assisted living options in its latest look into senior care, including a few recommendations and cautions. The column comes as the second of a two-part series; the first of which discussed independent living considerations. 

“Before any decision is made about residential care, try to visit more than one care community with your parent and/or another family member,” PBS advises. “Ask to join the community for lunch and get a tour, view the activities schedule and menu, and take particular notice of how the staff interacts with the residents.”


The article outlines a host of options for those who need around-the-clock or high levels of care including residential care, CCRCs, skilled nursing, the Green House program, and The Program for All Inclusive Care (PACE). 

PBS details each program type as well as the types of payment involved for each one. 

“It’s important to understand that Medicare doesn’t generally cover the costs of long-term care, particularly when it’s provided at home or in an assisted living facility,” PBS writes. “Private long-term care insurance policies can help, but may have limitations and loopholes, and are quite expensive. They must be purchased before care is needed.”


 Ultimately, the column stresses the importance of visiting any and all assisted living options under consideration. 

“Don’t be shy about asking a lot of questions. Ask about fees, of course. Ask about ratios of staff to residents, and what the rate of staff turnover is,” the column says. “A preliminary visit should reveal a facility that is clean, smells pleasant, and has staff that is actively, gently and respectfully interacting with residents.”

Read the PBS column

Written by Elizabeth Ecker