A National Study of Assisted Living for the Frail Elderly: Final Summary Report. A. Background

11/01/2000

This section seeks to address the final question proposed for the ASPE study -- whether different ALF characteristics, particularly differences in services and the environment (i.e., privacy) -- have an effect on such important issues as environmental autonomy, unmet care needs, the ability of residents to age in place, and affordability. This report represents an initial step aimed at understanding the effects of various facility characteristics on how well ALFs may meet the needs of different residents. Comparisons were made on a number of facility characteristics related to the philosophy of assisted living and their ability and willingness to meet resident needs and desires. The comparisons involved the effect of the mix of privacy and services in facilities. In this section, we briefly review the findings about differences among facility types based on the telephone interviews with administrators in a national sample of all ALFs. However, the most detailed information was collected during the site visits that excluded the low service/low privacy facilities. Thus, the analysis concentrates on the observed differences among the high service or high privacy ALFs included in the site visits.

This section of the report examines the effect of facility characteristics on key issues, such as unmet care needs, environmental autonomy, the ability of the facility to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs, and affordability. It briefly summarizes the effects among all ALFs but concentrates on differences among the ALFs that offer high services or high privacy.

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