About Assisted Living in Washington

While Washington has no income tax, it does have a higher than average sales tax and the overall cost of living is substantially higher than the national average. It is, however, lower than California. Less pricey areas can be found across the state that offer plenty of recreational and cultural opportunities.

What Options are Available for Assisted Living?

An Assisted Living Facility (ALF) is a home or institution maintained to provide housing and basic services to ensure the well-being of its residents. An ALF does not include independent senior housing or independent living units in continuing care retirement communities.

A standard disclosure is required, in writing, summarizing the facilities scope of care and the services they offer.

All facilities must be equipped with wired smoke detectors with battery backup and fire alarm system complaint with National Fire Protection Association standards, and ALFs licensed after July 1, 2005 must have an automatic fire sprinkler system installed. A disaster plan must also be in place.

What are the Alzheimer’s Requirements for Assisted Living Facilities in Washington?

Assisted living facilities offering Alzheimer’s and dementia care must collect additional information from its residents for screening purposes. An ALF offering special services must have measures in place to reduce wandering and protect residence with additional safety measures while also providing activities and encouraging independence.

Senior Assisted Living Details and Costs for Cities in Washington

Listed below are some of the larger cities in Washington. Each city link provides details on senior and assisted living options, independent living, senior group homes, and memory care. City pages may include details on amenities, services offered and other useful information.

What Training is Required for Assisted Living Facility Staff?

Long-term care workers must complete an orientation and safety program before interacting with residents, and they must also complete basic Department-approved training and demonstrate competency. Once competency is demonstrated the employee can work unsupervised. Certified or registered nursing assistants who accept delegated tasks must complete delegation training.

Specialize training must be provided for staff who work closely with Alzheimer’s and other cognitively impaired residents.

Is an Assessment Required Before Move-In?

An ALF must conduct a preadmission assessment before move-in, including specified information. A full assessment addressing additional information must be completed within 14 days of admission.

What Care is Available in an Assisted Living Facility?

  • Housing.
  • Activities.
  • Housekeeping.
  • Laundry.
  • Meals, including snacks.
  • Medication assistance.
  • Arranging for health care appointments and coordinating health care services.
  • Monitoring resident’s functional status.
  • Emergency assistance.

Optional Services:

  • Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).
  • Intermittent nursing services.
  • Health support services.
  • Medication administration.
  • Adult day services.
  • Care for residents with dementia, mental illness, and developmental disabilities.
  • Special therapeutic diets.
  • Transportation services.

Residents are allowed to receive on-site care and contract services from licensed 3rd party health care providers.

How is Medication Managed?

All ALFs must provide medication assistance services, including assistance and administration of medication by a registered nurse or through nurse delegation. The resident has the right to self-administer any medications, as well as the right to refuse medication altogether.

What are the Bathroom Requirements for an Assisted Living Facility?

At least 1 toilet and sink are required for every 8 residents and 1 bathtub or shower for every 12. Private bathrooms are required for all residents served under an assisted living contract with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services/Aging and Disability Services Administration (DSHS/ADSA.)

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

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

  • Require skilled long-term nursing (more than 14 days).
  • Are Bedridden.

Is an Assisted Living Facility Covered by Medicaid in the State of Washington?

Yes. A Medicaid home and community-based services waiver covers assisted living services in an ALF that contracts with DSHS/ADSA to service Medicaid clients.

Who can I contact for more information?

Aging and Long-Term Support Administration
Michael Wong
(360) 725-2300