About Assisted Living in Colorado

Gorgeous scenery isn’t the only reason to retire in Colorado. Taxes in the state are below the national average, and taxpayers over the age of 65 receive partial exemptions on pensions, social security income, and retired military or active personnel. State sales tax is extremely low, but local taxes can be high, depending on your location.

What Options are Available for Assisted Living?

In the state of Colorado an Assisted Living Residence (ALR) is available for 3 or more adults and offers services, including personal services, protective oversight, social care, and regular supervision on a 24-hour basis. Other types of assisted living offered by the state include residential treatment facilities for the mentally ill.

The facility’s policies and procedures must be disclosed to the resident upon admission, as well as the availability of licensed health professionals based on need, types of activities, whether the facility is equipped with fire sprinklers, if they use personal alarms for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents, the availability of first-aid certified staff, and the policy on CPR and lift assistance.

All new requests for ALR licensure require compliance with the National Fire Protection Association Codes, requiring the use of smoke detectors and automatic sprinklers systems - new facilities are not allowed to utilize antifreeze sprinkler systems.

Existing facilities are not only required to have sprinklers and smoke detectors, but they must also have the added protection of a fire alarm system.

What are the Alzheimer’s Requirements for Assisted Living Residence in Colorado?

Secured units for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are allowed, but there are no current requirements for this service. At least 1 trained staff member must remain in the secured unit at all time.

Senior Assisted Living Details and Costs for Cities in Colorado

The listings below are some of the larger cities in Colorado. Each city page provides details on senior and assisted living options, independent living, senior group homes, and Alzheimer's care. Details include amenities, services offered among other information.

What Training is Required for ALR Staff?

On-the-job training is required by all staff in their given position, and training should be provided to meet the needs of the specific population, as well as resident’s rights, first aid and injury response, and medication administration. Within 1 month of employment an employee must complete training in assessment skills, infection control, identifying and dealing with difficult situations, and health emergency response.

Is an Assessment Required Before Move-In?

A comprehensive pre-admission assessment is required to evaluate the resident’s physical, health, and social needs, as well has his or her capacity for self-care.

What Care is Available in an Assisted Living Residence?

  • Physically safe and sanitary environment.
  • Room and board.
  • Personal services.
  • Protective oversight.
  • Social care.

A resident may choose to contract licensed home health agencies for services outside the ALRs scope of care.

How is Medication Managed?

All medication is the property of the resident, and he or she has the right to self-administer any medication unless otherwise specified in the resident’s personal care plan. If the resident is unable to self-administer his or her medications a qualified medication administration staff member may provide assistance.

What are the Bathroom Requirements for an Assisted Living Residence?

At least 1 full bathroom is required for every 6 residents, however, a licensed facility that provides services specifically for mentally ill (prior to Jan 1, 1992) may have 1 full bathroom for every 8 residents. A bathroom must also be available on each floor that houses resident bedrooms.

What are the Move-In or Move-Out Requirements?

An ALR can only admit residents whose needs can be met by the facility, and they may not admit or retain residents who:

  • Are bedridden with limited potential for improvement.
  • Require 24-hour medical or nursing services.
  • Need restraints.
  • Have a communicable disease or infection - unless the individual is receiving medication and admission is approved by a physician.
  • Have substance abuse problems - unless a physician determines it is manageable.

A facility may keep a resident who becomes bedridden if there is a physician’s order detailing the health requirements, assessment, and monitoring by licensed medical professionals, and adequately trained ALR staff to care for the bedridden resident.

Is Assisted Living Covered by Medicaid in the State of Colorado?

Yes. A Medicaid home and community-based service waiver covers assisted living residents certified by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and financing, making them eligible for reimbursement.

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Public Health
Terry Zamell
(303) 692-2800