Kansas is known as one of the best states for senior citizens owing to its affordable cost of living, general quality of life, and access to healthcare facilities and Medicare. Kansas also has several programs and services to accommodate the need of every senior like the Senior Care Act, Home and Community Based Services, Senior Health Insurance Counseling, and Senior Medicare Patrol Act.
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Paying For Assisted Living in Kansas
The Cost of Assisted Living in Kansas
The monthly median cost of an assisted living facility in Kansas is $4,556, which is a bit higher than the national average of $4,000. Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey indicates that the median cost of assisted living in Kansas is the highest amongst all its bordering states.
The average monthly cost of assisted living in Kansas ranges from $3,945 to $5,265, varying widely across different cities. Assisted living facilities cost the least in Wichita, while the cost in Lawrence is higher than the state’s median cost.
The average monthly cost of long-term care options that provide a higher level of care, such as memory care and skilled nursing, is more expensive than assisted living. Independent living is the cheapest senior care option followed by homemaker services.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Kansas
Frail Elderly Waiver
KanCare is the Medicaid program in Kansas managed by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The program offers financial assistance to low-income senior residents who require nursing home level care, but it doesn’t directly cover the cost of assisted living.
KanCare has a Home & Community Based Services Program called the Frail Elderly Waiver, which is specifically for individuals who need care services at their homes or community instead of a nursing home. The Frail Elderly Waiver enables the elderly to live in adult foster care homes or assisted living facilities, and afford attendant care services.
Who Is Eligible?
Applicants for the Kansas HCBS Frail Elderly Waiver must meet KanCare’s eligibility criteria. Participants should:
- Be 65 years or older
- Be financially eligible for Medicaid
- Be examined by a qualified case manager for the level of long-term care needed
- Require assistance with at least 2-3 daily living activities like bathing, transferring, eating, and dressing, and 3 instrumental activities like cleaning, shopping, and moving in the community
Applicants eligible for the Frail Elderly Waiver should have countable assets that do not exceed $2,000 exempting home, vehicle, and personal belongings. The home is exempted only if the applicant or the spouse lives in the home. The value of the home equity should not be more than $572,000. The countable income of applicants should not exceed $2,250 per month. Applicants with a monthly income of more than $747 will have to pay for some care services.
How to Apply
Eligible individuals can apply for the Frail Elderly Waiver program by contacting the local Aging & Disability Resource Center or calling (855)-200-2372. Individuals who are not currently members of KanCare should apply for KanCare coverage online to be eligible for the waiver.
More Ways to Finance Assisted Living
Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:
- Veterans Benefits: Veterans can take advantage of several different pension programs to help cover the cost of assisted living. For more information, see the article on benefits.va.gov.
- Life Insurance Policies: Even if a spouse or loved one hasn’t died, certain types of life insurance policies can be used to pay for assisted living. More information is available at longtermcare.acl.gov.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays for long-term care when it becomes necessary, including the cost of assisted living. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of this financing method, visit longtermcare.acl.gov.
- Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow seniors to access the equity from a home that they own, and these funds can be used to pay for assisted living. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a federally insured reverse mortgage program.
Free Assisted Living Resources in Kansas
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is a resident-centered program responsible for overseeing the long-term care facilities across the state. Kansas has 7 regional ombudsman offices. The responsibilities of the Ombudsman includes:
- Advocating for residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes, assisted living, adult daycare centers, board and care homes, residential health care facilities, and home plus facilities
- Visiting long-term care facilities to monitor and assess the conditions and services
- Investigating and resolving the complaints filed by the residents of long-term care facilities
- Educating the facility staff, residents, and the community on the issues, concerns, policies, laws, and regulations regarding long-term care
The State Ombudsman Office can be reached at:
Area Agencies on Aging
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a network of nonprofit organization across the country that provides information and services to the elderly on several aspects like mobility assistance programs, housing, respite care, supplemental services, counseling, caregiver training, and the locally available services.
|Area Agency on Aging||Address||Phone Number|
11811, South Sunset Drive, Suite 1300 Olathe,
(Chautauqua, Cowley, Elk, Greenwood, Harper, Kingman, Mcpherson, Reno, Rice, Sumner counties)
304 South Summit Street, PO Box 1122 Arkansas City,
(Atchinson, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Marshall, Nemaha, Washington counties)
1803, Oregon Street, Hiawatha,
(Chase, Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Geary, Jewell, Lincoln, Lyon, Marion, Mitchell, Morris, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Republic, Riley, Saline, Wabaunsee counties)
401, Houston Street, Manhattan,
(Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, Linn, Miami, Osage counties)
132, South Main Street, Ottawa,
(Barber, Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kiowa, Lane, Meade, Morton, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rush, Scott, Seward, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Wichita counties)
238, San Jose Drive, P. O. Box 1636, Dodge City,
(Allen, Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, Woodson counties)
1 West Ash Street, P. O Box J Chanute,
(Douglas, Jefferson, Shawnee counties)
2910 South West Topeka Boulevard, Topeka,
(Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego, Wallace counties)
510 W 29th St, Suite B, P. O. Box 610, Hays,
(Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick counties)
2622 W. Central, Suite 500, Wichita,
P. O. Box 826, 885 112th Drive, Horton,
(Leavenworth, Wyandotte Counties)
1300 North 78th Street, Suite 100, Kansas City,
16281 Q Road Mayetta,
3313 Thrasher Road, White Cloud,
The Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs program helps veterans and their families to file claims for a variety of programs and benefits like education and health care, which are specifically designed for them. The state has Veteran Affairs centers as well as Veteran Service Representatives to provide information and guidance on financing options for long-term care.
|VA Center||Address||Phone Number|
251 North Water Street, Wichita, KS 67202
205 South 4th Street, Suite B, Manhattan, KS 66502
410 S. Commercial St., Ste. B, P. o. Box 406, Atchinson,
990 S. Range, Suite 3, Colby, KS 67701
Kress Center, Suite ID, 702 Commercial Street, Emporia,
714 Sheridan-Unit 87, 300 Custer, Fort Dodge,
205 East 7th Street, Suites 106, 107 & 122, Hays,
1625 E. 30th, Hutchinson, KS 67501-5207
201 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 105, Independence,
P. O. Box 311, 700 N. Jefferson St., Junction City,
1300 Sunnyside Ave., Summerfield Hall, RM 345E,
Lawrence, KS 66044
317 Houston Street, Suite B, Manhattan, KS 66502
10107 West 105th Street, Suite B, Overland Park,
1502 E. Iron Ave., Suite B, Salina, KS 67401
5724 SW Huntoon St., Washburn Tech, Room AW123,
Topeka, KS 67401
P. O. Box 20837, Wichita, KS 67208
1220 WWII Memorial Dr., Winfield, KS 671586-0123
Social Security Offices
The Kansas Social Security offices assist senior citizens with information regarding social security benefits. Low-income senior citizens aged 65 or older are entitled to Supplemental Social Income benefits regardless of their health conditions (SSI). The Social Security offices help seniors understand the details of the SSI program.
|Social Security Office||Address||Phone Number|
2204, Summerlon Cir, Dodge City, KS 67801
1212 E 27th St, Hays, KS 67601
811 E 30th Ave Ste A, Hutchinson, KS 67502
2125 N Penn Ave Suite A, Independence, KS 67301
850 Nebraska Ave, Kansas City, KS 66101
1440 Wakarusa Ste 200, Lawrence, KS 66049
15375 W 95th St, Lenexa, KS 66219
1121 Hudson Ave Ste A, Manhattan, KS 66503
1410 E Iron Ave Ste 7, Salina, KS 67401
600 SW Commerce PI, Topeka, KS 6615
3216 N Cypress St, Wichita, KS 67226
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Kansas
Assisted Living Service/Care Plans
The administrator of the assisted living facility or a licensed nurse is required to conduct a screening and an assessment of the applicants before admission. The assessment will determine each resident’s functional capacity and the health care services needed. Based on the assessment, the assisted living facility will partner with the resident, the family, or the legal representative to draw a service plan that will be reviewed at least once every year or quarterly if the resident receives assistance with eating from a nutritionist.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
An assisted living facility cannot admit residents who:
- Have any ongoing condition that requires the assistance of two or more people
- Cannot or will not participate in managing the problem
- Need skilled nursing supervision 24 hours a day
- Are immobile and completely dependent to exit the facility
- Have behavioral symptoms that exceed the facility’s care and service
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Assisted living facilities in Kansas are required to provide a range of care and services that are specified in the resident’s service plans at the time of admission. The services usually include daily meals, health care services, housekeeping services, transportation, group and individual activities, and other health and safety support.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Medicaid is a healthcare partnership between the federal and the state government for low-income residents. In Kansas, Medicaid is called as KanCare which covers nursing home care, but it doesn’t finance assisted living directly. Instead, it offers waivers like the Frail and Elderly Waiver to cover costs of adult day cares, assisted living, and attendant care services. There is currently no waiting list reported for KanCare’s elderly waiver program.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
According to the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, each assisted living facility apartment must have:
- A sleeping area with a window that opens for ventilation as described in the uniform building code
- A storage area with a shelf, hanging rods, and doors
- A kitchen area with a sink, a refrigerator, a microwave or a stove, and storage space for supplies and utensils
- A bathroom with a toilet and a bathtub or shower with disability access
- An entrance door with one locking door handle which is master-keyed from the corridor and releases with the inside door handle
- At least 200 square feet of living space excluding the bathroom, closets, and other built-in fixed items
- At least 80 square feet of living space for each resident sharing a room
An assisted living facility should have:
- Common areas which can be accessed from the general corridor
- Entrances at the ground level accessible to disabled individuals.
- Public restrooms on each floor accessible to disabled individuals, staff, and visitors
- Dining rooms which can seat all residents
- An outdoor smoking area and ensure the indoor environment is smoke-free.
- A locked storage space with a sink and a refrigerator for medications and medical supplies, and a separate compartment for controlled drugs
- A locked janitor closet
- A storage space for clean linen and soiled linen in a manner to prevent odor and diseases
Medication Management Regulations
The KDADS has a list of statues and regulations regarding administering and managing medication at an assisted living facility.
- Residents of assisted living facilities are allowed to self-administer medication only if they are assessed to be able to do so and if the medication is pre-filled by a licensed nurse or pharmacist.
- Administration of medication by the assisted living facility must be approved by the resident’s medical care provider in writing.
- The resident must be identified before administering medication and a record of the time, dosage, and name of the medicine must be maintained.
- A medical aide can order and pick up medicines from a pharmacy chosen by the resident.
- Medicines should be labeled with the name of the resident, medical provider, and medication, dosage, and strength.
- Every assisted living facility is required to maintain a detailed record of all medication stored, administered, and discarded at the facility.
- A clinical record of the resident should be maintained with details of the medical provider, pharmacy, medication, allergies, dosage, and schedule of administration.
- The assisted living facility requires a licensed pharmacist to conduct a quarterly review of the medications managed by the facility and inform the medical provider of any changes.
The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services has made it mandatory to appoint a licensed and trained administrator or operator to oversee every function of the assisted living facility. The administrator should:
- Be 21 years or older
- Have a high school diploma
- Have a Kansas license as an adult care home administrator or have completed an operator training course approved by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment
The administrator of an assisted living facility is responsible to provide sufficient staff to ensure each resident receives proper care and assistance, especially in emergency situations. The administrator is also responsible to maintain records of each resident according to the standards set by the state, coordinate with the ombudsman, and facilitate a quarterly resident council.
Staff Training Requirements
The administrator is tasked to provide regular in-service training for all employees of the assisted living facility. Written policies and procedures must be available to the staff at all times. The staff should receive in-service education in:
- Principles of assisted living
- Resident rights
- Disaster management
- Prevention of abuse and neglect of residents
- Accident prevention
Background Checks for Assisted Living
The KDADS has a list of documentation required as a part of background check of each employee of an assisted living facility. Every employee record must have:
- A license, a registration, or a training program certificate if the employee is performing a specialized job
- A record of a criminal background check
- Documentations of any previous cases of abuse or neglect from the Kansas nurse aide registry and every other state where the employee has worked as a nurse aide
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
Abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly at any long-term care facility including assisted living is a serious offense. The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment should be informed if a resident is suspected to be a victim of any form of abuse, is in a condition because of abuse or neglect, or needs protective services. The complaints can be reported by calling the KDADS elder abuse hotline at 1-800-842-0078.
Any practice at an assisted living facility that is suspected to be a violation of the statutes or regulations should be reported to the Ombudsman office or the Adult Protective Services at 785-296-4653.