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Wisconsin Assisted Living Facilities

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Cost of Wisconsin Assisted Living Facilities

According to the 2015 Genworth Financial cost of care survey, the average cost of assisted living in Wisconsin is $3,980 per month.

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

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

More info on Assisted Living Costs

Monthly Costs Compared to Neighboring States


Assisted Living Regulations

Wisconsin defines an assisted living facility as a facility that provides residential care and encourages resident to remain as independent as possible. There are three types of assisted living facilities in Wisconsin - community-based residential facilities (CBRF), adult family homes (AFH), and residential care apartment complexes (RCAC).

Wisconsin Assisted Living Facilities Scope of Care

All residents may contract for outside home health care as needed. CBRF staff provide basic care and assistance, including: - supervision, - information and referral, - leisure time activities, - transportation, and - health monitoring - personal care, - activity programming for persons with dementia, - independent living skills, - communication skills, and - up to three hours of nursing care per week (unless hospice is involved). AFH cannot have more than three or four residents and can receive no more than seven hours a week of nursing services. Residents receive room, board and personal care services. RCAC consist of five or more residential units and staff provide no more than 28 hours a week of nursing services and offers personal and supporting care. Minimum requirements if care include: - housekeeping, - access to medical services, - personal services, - assistance with all activities of daily living; and - nursing services, - health monitoring and medication administration.

Wisconsin Assisted Living Admission Requirements

None of the types of facilities are permitted to accept or retain a resident who needs are greater than the services the facility can provide. In addition, no resident can be admitted who is a danger to himself or others, is unwilling to have a physical examination, needs continuous nursing care, or is unable or unwilling to pay for all services.

Wisconsin Assisted Living Care Plan Requirements

All types of assisted living facility in Wisconsin are required to perform a written intake assessment, from which an individualized service plan is derived. Each facility can develop their own assessment form.

Wisconsin Assisted Living Medication Management Requirements

In a CBRF, medication administration and management must be performed by licensed nurses or pharmacists unless a medication has been packaged by unit dose. In a RCAC facility, medication administration and management must be performed by a nurse or by an unlicensed staff, under the supervision of a nurse or pharmacist. An AFH facility must obtain a written order from the prescribing physician for all medication.

Wisconsin Assisted Living Facility Requirements

In a CBRF facility, no more than two residents per unit are permitted and units may not be less than 60-100 square feet. Multiple regulations apply to this type of facility, depending on the age of the facility, the size, and the classification of residents, such as ambulatory or non-ambulatory. In an AFH facility, a double occupancy residential unit must offer at least 60 square feet per person and 80 square feet in a single occupancy room. For a person in a wheelchair, the bedroom space is 100 square feet. Two residents per unit are permitted (such as a spouse or friend). In a RCAC facility, no more than two residents per room are allowable. All units must have lockable doors, no less than 250 square feet of living space, and meet building codes for multi-family dwellings.

Wisconsin Assisted Living Staffing Requirements

In all facilities, the ratio of staff to residents must be adequate to meet the needs of residents as defined in their assessments and individual service plans. Staffing needs vary according to the time and needs of the patients, but all facilities require an awake staff person at night. An administrator or service manager must have the skills to manage a diverse staff, be 21 and have received specific training in a multitude of related areas.

Wisconsin Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Community Option Program (COP) and COP-Waiver funds may be available, depending on eligibility and waiting lists. In addition, Wisconsin also has a program called Family Care that provides public funding.

Wisconsin Alzheimer's Unit Requirements

CBRF and AFH facilities may identify those with dementia and Alzheimer's a group that the facility can serve, and must be licensed to do so. Written policies are required that document programming and how individual's needs will be met. Staff who work in these units must be trained to do so within three months of being placed in the unit. An RCAC facility may not have a dementia unit.

Wisconsin Medicaid Coverage of Assisted Living and Related Services

The State of Wisconsin pays for select services in assisted living communities. The waiver is called the COP-W, Medicaid Waiver. The state also provides a non-Medicaid program called Family Care that serves families with Alzheimer's, in a limited way.

Wisconsin's CIP-II and COP-W, better known as, the Community Options Program Waiver (COP-W) and the Community Integration Program II (CIP-II) are arranged to help individuals living with impaired functional abilities. They are primarily designed for the elderly persons. Both CIP-II and COP-W waivers provide nursing home eligible individuals with services that help them to continue living at home or in an assisted living community.

Wisconsin's CIP-II and COP-W Waivers Benefits

Residents can receive approval for the following:

- Adaptive technologies for the home

- Adult day care during business hours

- Care management and service coordination

- Community based residential facility (assisted living)

- Counseling and therapeutic services

- Financial management services

- Home-delivered meals

- Home modifications to increase independence

- Nursing services to increase independence

- Relocation assistance

- Respite care for caregivers

- Specialized medical and therapeutic supplies

- Supportive home care

- Transportation assistance

How to apply - the waivers are available throughout Wisconsin but caps and waiting lists do exist. Learn more by contacting the local Area Agency on Aging or visit the Wisconsin Access website.

What is the best number to call to get started? 1-800-362-3002

Is there a website?

The Wisconsin Alzheimer's Family and Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP)

The program is designed to assist low and middle income families throughout Wisconsin that have a loved one living with Alzheimer's Disease, dementia or other related memory disorder. It gives them needed services to help both the family and the individual. It is managed by the Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources and administered locally by each county's Office of Aging.

AFSCP's Benefits

Eligible participants can receive up to $4,000 in services a year. They include:

- Attendant / personal care

- Adult day care

- Durable medical equipment

- Home / environmental modifications

- Home delivered meals

- Personal emergency response and security services to prevent wandering

- Respite care

- Transportation assistance

What is the best number to call to get started? 1-608-266-2536

Is there a website?

Department of Health Services, Division of Quality Assurance, Bureau of Assisted Living Phone (608) 266-8598

Contact: Alfred C. Johnson Phone (608) 266-8598


Web Site or directly to Assisted Living,

Wisconsin Contacts

Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Quality Assurance, Bureau of Assisted Living

Phone: (608) 266-8598

Kevin Coughlin
Phone: (608) 266-8598

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

License information source: Wisconsin Department of Health Services

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