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Cost of Washington Assisted Living Facilities

According to the 2015 Genworth Financial cost of care survey, the average cost of assisted living in Washington is $4,625 per month.

The monthly base rate for Washington assisted living is typically higher when compared to neighboring states. Washington is also more expensive compared to the national average.

This cost is the base cost for a one-bedroom assisted living unit in Washington. Additional fees beyond the base rate may apply.

More info on Assisted Living Costs

Monthly Costs Compared to Neighboring States


Assisted Living Regulations

Washington defines an assisted living facility, also called a boarding house, as a residential center that provides housing, supervision, and personal care services for at least seven residents.

Washington Assisted Living Facilities Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities must provide: - Housing; - Activities; - Housekeeping; - Laundry; - Meals, including nutritious snacks and prescribed therapeutic diets, such as low sodium or diets, general diabetic diets, and mechanical soft diets; - Medication assistance; - Arranging for health care appointments; - Coordinating health care services with the boarding home's services; - Monitoring of residents' functional status; and - Emergency assistance. The following services may be provided: - Assistance with ADLs; - Intermittent nursing services; - Health support services; - Medication administration; - Adult day services; - Care for residents with dementia, mental illness, and - developmental disabilities; - Specialized therapeutic diets; and - Transportation services.

Washington Assisted Living Admission Requirements

A resident can be admitted into a facility as long as the assisted living facility can adequately meet the needs of the resident. A resident with a short-term illness that is expected to resolve within two weeks is an exception, as are residents with whom a hospice services has a contract with. Unless the assisted living facility is certified differently, all new residents must be ambulatory.

Washington Assisted Living Care Plan Requirements

A preadmission assessment must be completed on all residents prior to the move in date. The facility has two weeks to complete a full intake, from which a service care plan will be created.

Washington Assisted Living Medication Management Requirements

Medication assistance, and not medication administration is required in all assisted living facilities. Residents have the right to refuse medications, and if they have difficulty with self-administering, the residents can formally request medication administration support. Residents may store their own medications, but may have assistance filling medication organizers.

Washington Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Residential units must offer a minimum of 80 square feet for a single occupancy room. A multiple-occupant room must provide a minimum of 70 square feet per resident. For homes licensed before 1989, four residents are allowed per room. After that date, licensed facilities may allow two residents per room. One toilet and sink are required for every eight residents, and one bathing unit is required for every twelve residents.

Washington Assisted Living Staffing Requirements

Direct care staff must be sufficient in number to meet the needs of the residents. In addition, staff must be trained and able to implement any disaster or fire plans as needed, maintain a hazard-free environment, and provide the services needed by residents under their care. The administrator may not be a resident of the home, must be 21, and must have a combination of experience, education and training.

Washington Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

A Medicaid home and community-based services waiver covers services in assisted care facilities.

Washington Alzheimer's Unit Requirements

If an assisted living facility creates a unit designed for those residents with dementia or Alzheimer's then the resident or the resident's legal representative must give permission to be placed in that unit. The facility must make provision for residents leaving the unit, ensure the unit meets applicable fire codes; make provisions to enable visitors to exit without sounding an alarm, as well as make provisions for an appropriate secured outdoor area for residents. In addition, all staff who work in the unit must have specific training for that population and group, individual, and independent activities must be offered.

Washington Medicaid Coverage of Assisted Living and Related Services

The State of Washington pays for assisted living or adult family care through two Medicaid Waivers. One is called the COPES Program (Community Options Program Entry System Waiver) and the Medicaid Personal Care program. The second program offering personal care services does not differentiate by location. The only stipulation is that the care services are not given in a nursing home facility.

The Washington Community Options Program Entry System (COPES) Waiver is intended to allow individuals who require nursing home level care to receive it in their home or in an assisted living residence.

The COPES waiver empowers the individual to self-direct their care; they can choose their personal care provider instead of having the state assign one. Certain family members such as the adult children are friends are eligible to get paid for the care services given. However, spouses are not eligible.

The COPES Waiver Services and Benefits

- Adult Day Care / Adult Day Health Care

- Assisting Living / Adult Family Homes

- Durable Medical Equipment

- Environmental Accessibility Modifications to one's Home or Vehicle

- Home Care / Home Health Care

- Home Delivered Meals

- Hospice Care

- Personal Care

- Personal Emergency Response Services

- Transportation Assistance

How to apply - this waiver program is available throughout Washington but there are a set number of spots available and a waiting list may exist. Learn more by calling 1-800-562-3022 or find more information at the following webpage.

What is the best number to call to get started? 1-800-562-3022

Is there a website?

The Medicaid Personal Care Program

This program delivers personal care services to the elderly and the disabled. It is meant to help individuals that reside in their homes or in adult family homes including residential assisted living communities. It does not cover care services to individuals living in nursing homes. The MPC program is based on the Cash and Counseling model in which the participating individual has the flexibility to self-direct their care. This is also referred to as the Consumer Direction Option, CDO or Participant Direction.

Participants can select their personal care providers and be the employer. In this case, the caregiver, employee, is referred to as an Individual Provider or IP. Care recipients can hire a caregiver from a home care agency or select a friend, neighbor or family member to be their provider. Spouses cannot be the provider. All providers are subject to a background check by the state and if approved they join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 775. A case manager will be assigned to the participant and will oversee and authorize payment to the providers.

Participants are eligible to receive assistance with personal care services:

- Bathing

- Bed Mobility

- Dressing

- Eating

- Medication Management

- Mobility Around and Outside the Home

- Personal Hygiene

- Toileting

- Transfer

How to apply - you can learn more by visiting the Washington's Medicaid webpage and call 1-800-562-3022.

Department of Social and Health Services/Aging and Disability Services Administration

Phone (360) 725-2402

Contact: Judy Johnson Phone (360) 725-2591


Web Site:

Washington Contacts

Washington Department of Social and Health Services/Aging and Disability Services Administration

Phone: (360) 725-2300

Judy Johnson
Phone: (360) 725-2591

Much of the information above was adapted from the National Center of Assisted Living 2010 Regulatory Review.

License information source: Washington Department of Social and Health Services

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