Seattle Office: PO Box 12494, Mill Creek, WA 98082
Vancouver Office: 5703 NE 133rd St, Vancouver, WA 98686
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(800) 361-0138

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7 Days A Week

Common Questions

We’ve been in the business of helping individuals to find the assisted living situation that best suits their needs for a long while. During this time, we’ve found that many of those whom we have helped have had similar questions and concerns regarding their options for long- and/or short-term care. Some of these questions have been answered below.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living offers seniors the help they need with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).  It is a residential community that support and encourages their independence while providing a safe environment and opportunities to live a full and engaging life.

What Is the Difference Between An Assisted Living Facility and a Nursing Home?

An assisted living community is a residential environment for individuals who need some assistance with the daily activities, such as personal care, mobility issues, and medication management but who do not required constant skilled nursing care.  Assisted living communities strive to create a home-like setting that promotes independence.  Nursing homes are designed for people who need daily nursing care.  Skilled nursing facilities have nursing staff available 24 hours a day and offer a wide range of medically necessary services in order to meet the resident’ health care needs.


The costs vary depending on the facility’s physical features, location, size and the services required. The calculation of costs will include a housing component as well as a care component.  A ballpark figure for estimation purposes would be between $3,500 and $6,000 per month.

What Levels of Care Can An Assisted Living Facility Provide?

Each assisted living provider selects the level of care they offer.  The owner of the assisted living community, the General Manager and the nursing staff make decisions of who they can and who they cannot accommodate based on their willingness to extend services and their current staffing capabilities.  The term “assisted living” is not a well-defined term.  This phrase is used to describe basic services such as meal preparation, medication monitoring and reminders to residents.  This term, however, is also used to describe highly personal and hands-on services such as toileting, transfer assistance, bathing, etc.  Some assisted living communities offer only minimally-supportive services, while others offer extensive services.  To know what services an assisted living does and does not offer, request a copy of their services disclosure form.  It is critical that consumers speak directly with the nursing staff regarding specific and possible future care needs.  Senior care providers base their willingness to extend services to their residents based on their current ability to extend such services.  CHOICE has no knowledge of what care a senior living provider can or cannot offer.

How Do I Go About Moving my Parents to an Assisted Living Community?

First, choose the senior living community that is right for you. Carefully read the Resident Agreement, the contract that lists all the services that will be provided, the fees and the responsibilities of all parties. Make sure you understand what services are provided and all of the fees that may be charged. Ask your physician to complete a physical assessment form and submit it to the assisted living facility you have chosen. Make sure the facility is licensed for the level of care your parents need. Once these steps are taken, all the documents are signed and any initial fees are paid, your parents may move in when there is a vacancy.

What Is The Difference Between An Assisted Living Community And An Adult Care Home?

Adult care homes (also called adult family homes, adult foster care or residential care) are licensed by the state in which they are located.  Homes may care for between two and six seniors or disabled adults.  These settings have become an attractive alternative to a nursing home.

Within most major geographic areas, there may be from one hundred to two hundred Adult Care Homes to choose from. 

In an adult care home, residents may have a private or semi-private room.  All meals, laundry, housekeeping and activities are provided.  Adult care homes tend to offer more predictable pricing than assisted living communities

Assisted living communities are designed for individuals who are safe being alone for 1-2 two hours of time; whereas adult care homes are designed for people who need more vigilant attention during the day-time or even during the night time.

Adult care homes vary immensely in services and pricing.  A CHOICE Advisor can help define which ones you will wish to consider.

What Happens if My Loved One’s Condition Changes and They Need More Care Than They Did When They Were Admitted?

If your care needs increase, or if your health declines, the nursing staff of the senior living community you have chosen will complete a new assessment and they will create a new plan of care to meet your needs.  Changes in care plans typically relate to an increase in care expenses.  In some cases, the nursing staff will suggest or require in-home care rehabilitative services or other ancillary health-care or rehabilitative services.  In other cases, the nursing staff may request the older adult make a visit to their primary healthcare provider or arrange to have a visiting healthcare provider visit the older adult. At times, a short hospital or a skilled nursing facility stay are necessary to allow an older adult to recuperate from an illness, disease or injury. The nursing staff of the senior living community intends to provide life-long care for their residents, but they must ensure that their staff is able to appropriately meet the needs of the resident, and that the resident’s safety and well-being are considered.  If the senior living community feels they cannot meet the needs of the resident, they will make a referral back to CHOICE Advisory to assist you to know what alternate options exist for housing & care.

How can I go about researching a Washington state care facility or community?

Information regarding care facilities and communities in Washington and possible infractions and complaints can be found through this website:

How can I go about researching an Oregon care facility or community?

Information regarding care facilities and communities in Oregon and possible infractions and complaints can be found through this website:


1st CHOICE To The Rescue!

“When I finally made the decision to no longer live alone, I had no idea what to do next. 1st CHOICE came to my rescue! I was not only given several excellent options, but I was also given the information I needed to make a wise decision for myself. I’m particularly grateful that you helped me with the sale of my home, and even made sure my move went smoothly! And thank you as well, for taking me to look at my options. I am thankful that you let me make the choice on my own, but I’m equally grateful that you were there to listen to me.”  – Betty

Doctor Recommended

“I tried making calls on my own, but the more information I gathered, the more confused I got about the entire process. I happened to be with my mother, visiting her doctor and I found a 1st CHOICE Guide in the waiting room. When I asked my doctor if he knew about your agency, he told me about the good experiences he’s had in recommending people to 1st CHOICE. When he told us about 1st CHOICE, I thought, “It’s too good to be true!” Your services are invaluable.”  – Renee

Comfort In A Difficult Time

“The idea of moving from our home of forty years was daunting until I talked to 1st CHOICE. I may not have moved quickly, but I moved in a way that was comfortable for me, and I knew I was supported through this difficult and very big move. Without my husband here to help me make decisions, it gave me peace of mind to know someone was looking after my best interests. Thank you, 1st CHOICE, for being like family to me.” – Char