Located just outside Portland, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic cities, Hillsboro offers breathtaking sights, friendly residents, and a variety of things-to-do. With mild winters, snow-capped mountains, and expansive parks, Oregon offers some of the most exciting opportunities in the nation. The Portland area is attracting more and more newly retired persons each year, and Hillsboro is a popular choice for its peaceful suburban setting.
Along with some of the nation’s most beautiful views and access to Portland’s many resources, Hillsboro is home to a variety of assisted living communities. These communities provide long-term care for people who need ongoing daily assistance, helping them live their lives to the fullest.
Despite each location’s unique apartments and amenities, all assisted living communities in Hillsboro offer a set of standard services set forth by the Oregon Department of Human Services. This guide will discuss the regulations for assisted living communities in Oregon and bring attention to the many fun things to do in the Portland area.
Hillsboro Assisted Living
For a community to provide long-term care and house residents, they must receive proper licensing from the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS). To receive licensing, a community must meet the regulations set forth by the ODHS.
In Oregon, assisted living communities and residential care facilities are two distinct categories of long-term care residences:
Assisted living communities are residences with fully self-containing senior living units, providing accommodations for six or more unrelated individuals.
Residential care facilities may contain shared or individual senior living units, providing accommodation for six or more unrelated individuals.
Both types of communities provide similar levels of care, including assistance with residents’ activities of daily living and stimulating activities to meet their social needs. Support services must be available 24-hours a day to qualify as an assisted living or residential care community in Hillsboro.
Assisted living communities in Hillsboro are required to meet a person’s physical and cognitive needs for admission. If a person is admitted and their needs change during their residency, they are welcome to stay at their community and arrange third-party care to meet their needs.
However, involuntary discharges are applicable in Oregon when required in urgent situations For example, a person who repeatedly disrupts other members of the community, a person who uses illegal substances on-site, or one who is no longer able to evacuate due to ambulatory challenges may be discharged at the discretion of their residence.
Communities must provide a handful of standard supportive services to be in accordance with the ODHS regulations. In addition to assistance with residents’ activities of daily living (like bathing, eating, or dressing), assisted living residences in Hillsboro must offer:
Social and recreational activity programs
Social and medical transportation
Communities must provide service planning for each resident upon admission. The resident’s pre-admission assessment should take into account the person’s medical history, their current health care needs, and their preferences to create a tailored service plan. Each year, communities should re-assess each resident to change their service plan according to variances in their care needs.
Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Senior Care in Hillsboro, Oregon
Long-term senior care in Hillsboro doesn’t stop with assisted living. Long-term care is multi-faceted, with communities and facilities providing a spectrum of service depending on their purpose and licensing.
Families who are researching assisted living communities often wonder how they compare to independent living in Hillsboro. Like assisted living, independent living offers a residential, home-like setting where adults live a maintenance-free lifestyle. However, independent living communities in Hillsboro are subject to a unique set of regulations and do not provide the same level of care as assisted living residences in Oregon.
Independent living in Hillsboro is a popular alternative to home-based care for many families. Instead of living at home, residents enjoy apartment-style living with access to around-the-clock emergency response, daily on-campus activities, meals, transportation, apartment maintenance, housekeeping, and more. However, independent living does not provide the same level of service planning as assisted living and is not ideal for people who need substantial, ongoing assistance with their activities of daily living.
Unlike independent living and assisted living communities in Oregon, nursing homes provide substantial skilled nursing care. Nursing homes are more readily equipped to help residents with certain health conditions, making them a reasonable choice for one who needs ongoing medical attention.
The type of long-term care community a person chooses will impact the level of care they will receive and their options for funding. For example, some programs will pay for costs associated with nursing homes, but not community-based care. It’s important for families to identify their long-term needs and determine which types of long-term care communities in Oregon are right for them, based on their daily challenges and personal preferences.
Standard Assisted Living Amenities in Hillsboro, Oregon
Assisted living communities in Oregon must provide three meals per day (plus snacks) for each resident, in accordance with the dietary allowances set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid.
Communities must serve meals according to each resident’s religious restrictions, special dietary needs, and personal preferences. Modified meals may include recipes with made with low sodium, reduced sugar, or kosher ingredients, although this is not inclusive.
Although the ODHS has regulations for which basic services and amenities assisted living communities in Hillsboro should provide, many offer optional resources that create a “resort-style” living experience for residents. These amenities are designed for maximum resident convenience and enjoyment, improving their assisted living experience.
Popular resort-style amenities at assisted living communities in Hillsboro include:
Barbershops or hair salons
Gardens with walking trails
Swimming pools or jacuzzis
Living rooms with large televisions and comfortable furniture
Game rooms or billiard rooms
Business centers with computers and internet access
The ODHS requires assisted living communities in Oregon to provide recreational and social events for residents, which may include opportunities like:
Group outings to nearby points of interest
Happy hours and social mixers
Game nights and friendly competitions
Arts and crafts sessions, like knitting or painting classes
Continuing education opportunities, like lectures and classes
Services and amenities vary by community, so it’s important for families to identify which each location offers before applying. Many assisted living residences in Hillsboro list their upcoming social events and activities on a calendar so current and prospective residents can plan ahead accordingly.
Assisted Living Apartments in Hillsboro, Oregon
Like services and amenities, the ODHS has regulations for apartments at assisted living facilities and residential care communities in Hillsboro. Each type of long-term care community has unique guidelines for their senior living units, depending on their license.
A residence that qualifies as an assisted living community must provide individual units for each resident. Units must offer private bathrooms, lockable doors, and kitchenettes that adhere to Oregon’s building codes. Shared units are allowed, but only when residents voluntarily choose to live with another person - communities may not assign a resident a roommate without the person first requesting it.
Private bathrooms must provide a toilet, a sink, and a wheelchair-friendly shower to meet the ODHS guidelines. Kitchen areas must have a sink, a refrigerator, and at least one cooking appliance (like a stove or a microwave), as well as space for food preparation and storage (like cabinets). Escape windows are required in all assisted living units.
Residential care facilities are subject to a different set of regulations than assisted living communities in Oregon. A residential care facility may offer private or shared units that accomodate no more than two individuals. If residents have individual bedrooms, they must connect to a shared living area - they may not open directly into a public community hallway.
Bathrooms may be located inside residential care units or centrally located adjacent to the common hallways. Units with their own bathrooms must have a sink, a toilet, a mirror, and they must be wheelchair-accessible.
Along with the required amenities discussed above, both assisted living communities and residential care facilities may provide optional in-unit features like:
Balconies or patios
Individually controlled heating and air conditioning
Cable or internet hookups
Additional living space, like dining areas
Assisted living communities in Hillsboro typically offer tours for families, giving them an opportunity to see their apartments before moving in.
Things to Do in Hillsboro, Oregon
Hillsboro is a moderately-sized town with a lot to do. The area is home to many resources, including grocery stores, malls, and more.
The Tualatin Hills Nature Park offers beautiful forest views and well-maintained walking paths. Guests can see a variety of Northwestern wildlife, especially during the area’s famously beautiful summers.
The Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is another excellent place to visit in the Hillsboro vicinity, ideal for nature lovers and photographers. On Tuesdays, the city hosts a marketplace where local farmers and crafters sell their products. The Hillsboro Tuesday Marketplace is popular for many local residents, offering easy access to local produce and other goods.
Funding Assisted Living in Hillsboro, Oregon
Paying for assisted living presents a unique challenge for everyone. Some families use their retirement funds or savings accounts to pay out of pocket, others may use long-term care insurance or government sponsored programs. Fortunately, there are many ways to finance long-term care, making it a viable alternative to home-based care.
Long-term care insurance is one of the most popular ways to pay for assisted living in Hillsboro. Many assisted living communities accept it as a form of payment, depending on each prospective resident’s policy and insurance provider.
However, long-term care insurance requires advanced planning to be affordable. The earlier a person purchases a long-term care insurance policy, the more affordable monthly premiums they will pay. Over time, they may save money by enrolling years prior to retiring.
When families need alternative methods to fund long-term care, they may turn to government programs. Medicare does not pay for assisted living, but Medicaid offers programs that help qualifying individuals pay for community-based care.
The Community First Choice (CFC) program is a popular option for retiring individuals in Oregon who meet the requirements. To qualify, a person must require a nursing level of care and meet Medicaid’s financial eligibility requirements. Home or community-based supports must be adequate to meet the person’s physical and mental needs.
The Independent Choices Program (ICP) is another helpful option for retiring adults in Oregon, providing cash awards to qualifying recipients to pay for long-term care. Recipient receive their award monthly, which they may use to pay for personal care services.
Veterans have access to additional funding for assisted living, courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA sponsors a unique program known as Aid & Attendance, providing monthly cash payments to qualifying veterans.
To receive Aid & Attendance benefits, a person must have served in the United States Armed Forces, meet the VA’s requirements for their standard monthly pension, and require the assistance of another person to complete their activities of daily living. The award is paid monthly as a cash benefit, which recipients may self-manage to pay for their care.
Choosing an Assisted Living Community in Hillsboro, Oregon
Choosing an assisted living community takes research and consideration. Each residence is unique, offering one-of-a-kind amenities and services that set them apart from one another.
Before applying to a community, prospective residents should make a list of what they expect from their long-term care residence, research potential locations in Hillsboro, and schedule tours.
Families should plan in advance for waitlists, which are common when assisted living communities at capacity. When a residence does not have room for additional occupants, they may wait list them until a vacancy opens. Prospective assisted living residents should choose more than one suitable assisted living community in case their top choice has a long waitlist.