Famously known as the capital city of Idaho, Boise is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most breathtaking metropolitan areas. Surrounded by mountain ranges, forest, and wildlife, there is plenty of natural beauty to enjoy in and around the city. Boise is also home to a wide variety of convenient urban amenities, including world-class shopping, fine dining, and more. With so much to offer, it's no wonder many families are considering the city when they transition from private living into a long-term care community.
Among Boise's many amenities are dozens of senior living communities. These communities include assisted living residences, which offer a wide variety of personal care services and housing for eligible families and individuals. All assisted living communities in Boise are subject to the state’s licensing provisions, which determine the services and amenities they must provide. This guide will discuss Idaho's requirements for assisted living communities throughout the state, including those in Boise.
Boise Assisted Living
In Boise, all Assisted Living residences are licensed by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. the terms residential care and assisted living or interchangeable in Idaho, and refer to the same type of community.
Idaho defines residential care and assisted living facilities as residences that operate an are there a nonprofit or profit bases with the purpose of providing supervision, meals, personal assistance, and housing to at least three adults who are not related to the facility’s owner.
These types of communities may admit residents who do not require ongoing skilled nursing care to meet their needs, and who do not require services that do not fall within the community’s licensing authority.
If a resident has a therapeutic diet as ordered from a physician, these communities are required to provide meals in accordance with their special dietary needs. Before a community may serve residents with a therapeutic diet, they must have a diet menu plan signed, approved, and dated by a registered dietitian.
Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Long-Term Care in Boise, Idaho
Assisted living is popular, but it isn't the only type of long-term care available in Boise Idaho. In fact, families may consider one of the other types of senior living communities available in the area, which may offer a more appropriate level of care depending on their personal needs.
For example, independent living can be a viable alternative for those who want to enjoy community-based care, but who do not require ongoing assistance with their activities of daily living. Assisted living provides personal care services for those who need help functioning at capacity throughout the day. This may include help with bathing, eating, dressing, and more.
At independent living communities, this type of assistance is available by request but residents do not require it on a regular, ongoing basis. Instead, Independent living residents are largely self-sufficient and can manage their daily activities without the help of another person.
Instead, independent living communities offer maintenance-free lifestyles for those who want to enjoy retirement without chores or other daily stressors. They may provide laundry assistance, housekeeping services, transportation, on-site meals, and more to help residents live full, stimulating lives during their retirement.
Nursing homes offering an entirely different type of care, known as skilled nursing care. Skilled nursing care is appropriate when a person has chronic illnesses or injuries and requires healthcare services to manage their symptoms.
Assisted living communities and residential care facilities are not licensed to provide these types of services and may not be suitable for those who require this level of care. In fact, assisted living communities in Boise are not permitted to admit residents who require a skilled nursing level of care, making nursing homes a viable alternative for such individuals.
Families who are considering different types of senior living communities in Boise should speak with their physician to learn which services they require to manage their health care needs and activities of daily living.
Standard Assisted Living Services and Amenities in Boise, Idaho
All assisted living communities in residential care facilities in Boise are subject to certain regulations that determine which long-term care services they must provide.
These types of facilities must have the capability to meet each resident’s individual daily needs. The services they provide should be appropriate for the level of care their resident’s require, which include assistance with their activities of daily living, general supervision, assistance with medication administration, first-aid services, emergency response, coordination of services with third-party providers, and housekeeping.
Additionally, all assisted living communities must provide service planning for each incoming resident that outlines their personal needs according to their medical history and preferences. Service planning begins with a pre-admission assessment which discusses a wide range of factors to determine an incoming resident’s level of care.
During a person's pre-admission assessment, the facility will determine the level of assistance they need with their activities of daily living and the frequency they require services, their need for health care services, the level of medication assistance they require, any required interventions for their behavioral symptoms, and their physician’s orders for health care services.
All communities may allow residents to self-administer medications, or they may assist residents with self-administration. They may also administer medications, as long as it is provided by staff who successfully complete an assistance with medications course and who have been permitted to provide medication assistance by a licensed nurse.
Assisted Living Apartments in Boise. Idaho
Just as the state requires assisted living communities in Boise to provide standard personal care services and amenities for their residents, they also regulate the types of housing they must provide.
Idaho does not require assisted living communities or residential care facilities to provide apartment-style units. They may provide shared suites, with up to two residents sharing one unit. If a community was licensed before 1991, they may house up to four residents in one room. They must provide at least one toilet for every 6 residents, although private bathrooms are not required in units.
Although not required, some communities may provide kitchens or additional amenities in-unit for their residents. They may also include optional amenities like balconies or patios, individually controlled heating and air conditioning, windows that open to the outside, and more.
If an individual or family wants to learn more about a community’s apartments and housing, they should schedule a tour with their preferred residents to see their units in person. By seeing the units in person, families can get an idea of what it's like to live at the community and picture themselves calling the residence home.
Things to Do in Boise, Idaho
As Idaho's capital city, there's plenty to do in and around Boise. The area offers expansive, scenic landscapes, which include mountain ranges, forests, and more.
One of the most famous destinations in Boise is the old Idaho Penitentiary site. The old Idaho Penitentiary site is a historic prison that offers daily tours for visitors, spanning more than 30 historic buildings with one-of-a-kind exhibitions and self-guided walking tours. The prison, which was functional from 1872 to 1973, houses some of the West’s most iconic criminals. Today, visitors can enjoy tours along with paranormal investigation and walks through the cemetery.
Looking for fun outside? The Zoo Boise is a must-see destination, featuring dozens of animal exhibits and special events. Guests can enjoy an African boat ride, a kid's farm, a Butterfly House, and delicious refreshments during their tour of the park. More than 200 animals are on display, making it a fun trip for guests of all ages.
The Idaho Botanical Gardens are also located in Boise and offer a full day's worth of fun and entertainment across more than 30 acres of beautifully landscaped land. The Botanical Gardens serve as a living museum, exposing visitors to a wide variety a plant life they may not see anywhere else. They also offer unique works of art and other exhibits, making it a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
Funding Assisted Living in Boise, Idaho
As a person prepares for retirement, funding long-term care is usually a top priority. Some families have a personal savings account or retirement funds they will use to cover the cost of assisted living, however, others may wonder which options are available to make community-based care a viable choice or housing. Fortunately, there are many programs and opportunities available for families approaching retirement to help them financially prepare for their transition from private living to community-based care.
One such option is long-term care insurance. In recent years, long-term care insurance has become a popular way to pay for assisted living. Families can purchase a policy in the years before they retire if they believe they will need community-based care in the future. Depending on a person's policy and their monthly premiums, they may save a significant amount of money when it's time to move into a residence.
It's important for retiring families to understand that long-term care insurance may cost more if they are quickly approaching retirement age. The longer it is before a person expects to retire, the less they are likely to pay each month for their long-term care insurance policy. Long-term care insurance may not be a viable short-term solution for funding, however, it depends on each individual provider and the policy they choose.
If a person is financially eligible, they may receive benefits through Medicaid to offset the cost of community-based care. Known as Medicaid waivers, or the Home and Community Services based Aged and Disabled waiver in Idaho, these programs are available for those who need assistance with their activities of daily living, and do not wish to receive care in a nursing facility.
By offering the Home and Community Services based waiver, Idaho hopes to make residential care a viable alternative for those who may otherwise need nursing assistance. To qualify, a person must meet the program's financial requirements and they must require assistance from another person with their daily activities. Additionally, the person is chosen assisted living community must provide adequate services and amenities to meet their daily needs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs also offers a program to pay for long-term care, reserved for those who served in the United States armed forces. The program, known as aid and attendance, is open to those who were not dishonorably discharged from the military and who are financially eligible to receive the VA's standard monthly pension. Additionally, a person must require assistance with their activities of daily living to participate in the program and receive the award.
For more information about the aid and attendance benefit, a family should speak with their designated be a caseworker about their eligibility, the application process, and the payment schedule.