Assisted Living in Colorado

State Information

Facts and Figures about Colorado
Population: 5,540,545
Capital: Denver
Largest City: Denver

From Denver, to Aurora, to Colorado Springs, and all of the other cities and counties in Colorado, it’s a beautiful and exciting place to retire. Whether you enjoy the beautiful scenery of true nature, or a fun city with professional sports teams, or just relaxing and minding your own business, Colorful Colorado has something for everyone.

Excellent cuisine, along with certain medicinal options you won’t find in all that many other states yet, make Colorado a popular place to move to. Let’s go over the basic facts about assisted living in Colorado, including senior care along with memory care as well.

Quick Facts about Colorado

In Colorado, the average cost of assisted living is very close to that of California, which is $3,771 per month based on the most recent numbers from 2014. However, Colorado has many less facilities in the state, hundreds instead of thousands, once again comparing them to California. As we always say, remember this number is just an average, some are going to be a lot more expensive and others are going to be quite a bit more affordable.

In terms of size, Colorado is ranked 8th for total area. Colorado’s population is 5.5 million, which places them in 8th place in the United States of America.

The taxes are below average when compared to all other states, and there are also tax incentives for senior citizens over the age of 65 living in Colorado that also make it a more desirable place to retire, however local taxes in certain parts of the state can be considerably higher, so that’s certainly something to look into, especially if you’re on a fixed budget that needs to last a certain number of years.

Types of Assisted Living in Colorado and General Information

In the state of Colorado, the terminology is to refer to an assisted living facility as an ALR, which stands for “Assisted Living Residence”, thus we’ll be referring to it as such. An ALR is when at least three, but often many more, adults live together under the care of a professional. Beyond that, the types of care can vary depending on the needs of the individuals.

This includes personal services and help with things like linens, hygiene, and transportation. Some residents may require 24 hour supervision and care, however if 24 hour skilled nursing or medical care is required, that will often disqualify someone from being a good fit for standard ALR care, as they’d need more of a hospital setting than a care home, thus other options exist for such scenarios.

For people requirement memory care, in particular for Alzheimer’s and for dementia sufferers, the facility is allowed to have a secured area. This extra security, such as locks, alarms, and personal alarm systems, is important for the safety of those who are being cared for. Inside of this secured section, there must be at least one staffed member who is trained to deal with these ailments at all times, for instance a regular care-giver without this special training can also be inside the trained unit, but not by themselves.

As far as additional safety requirements for all facilities, they are required to have a functioning sprinkler system and smoke detectors. For new facilities, they must be in complete compliance with the National Fire Prevention Association Codes, and they are not allowed to be equipped with antifreeze sprinkler systems. There’s a discrepancy where older facilities don’t need to meet the same high standards as newer ones, so if fire safety is a major concern for you, make sure you look into the age of the facility and exactly which codes and guidelines they’re following.

Requirements for Moving in or Moving Out

Before being approved to move into a residence, the patient is assessed on a number of criteria such as their social, mental, and physical needs, and how able they are to care for themselves.

Having substance abuse problems that cannot be managed, requirement restraints, having communicable diseases when not approved by a physician to verify that it’s manageable by medication, requiring constant skilled nurse services, or being bedridden without a good prognoses to improve are all things that can disqualify a patient from being a good fit for an assisted living or senior care home, and in those case they will need to seek more advanced and specialized care.

Staff Training and Requirements

For general care-givers, on the job training will need to match their position and the needs of the residents in said facility. In other words, if the facility caters to a certain need, or if the staff member will be working with such people, their training will need to match. Also, within the first month, all staff members need to be trained in things like controlling infections so they don’t get out of hand or spread, how to respond to emergency health situations, how to deal with difficult situations in general, and how to assess such situations in the first place.

Medicaid for Assisted Living in State and Additional Information

There are Medicaid come and community waivers that cover facilities, as long as said facilities meets the requirements to be certified by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financial. If the facility does not meet their requirements, then you may not be eligible for reimbursement. This is why it’s important to find a certified facility if you’re relying on Medicaid or other types of finding.

Research is a crucial part of the process, it’s not just about finding a place that looks nice, but also ensuring they’re equipped to properly meet all of the needs of the resident.

For additional information, you can contact Colorado’s Department of Public Health and they will be able to guide you.