Wisconsin is home to world-class aging research institutions and elder advocacy groups. The state also holds a yearly healthy aging summit and provides many grants for aging-based community services. With a large retiring population and many opportunities for elders in a state clearly dedicated to supporting their aging population, Wisconsin is a great place to retire.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Wisconsin

It is very important to research any facility you may be considering for yourself or your loved ones. You’ll want to know the size of the facility and the rooms it offers, amenities they provide like recreational activities and social gatherings, rates, and more. Use the tool below to compare and research multiple facilities near you.

Assisted Living Directory Tool

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Paying For Assisted Living in Wisconsin

The Cost of Assisted Living in Wisconsin

The monthly median cost of assisted living in Wisconsin is $4,300, which is slightly more costly than the national average of $4,000. According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Wisconsin is among the most expensive of all the states in the area, with Iowa and Michigan being the least costly.

 

The average cost of assisted living varies widely across the state. The La Crosse area is most affordable by far, at only $2,638 a month on average, followed by Fond du Lac at $3,744. The rest of the state stays around the national average, though the Wausau, Sheboygan, and Racine are much higher and the Oshkosh area averages the highest at $5,000 a month.

 

The cost of assisted living in Wisconsin is about half the price of nursing home care, which averages at $8,334 a month. It is most affordable to live completely independently, but for those that need in-home care or memory care, costs are very close to the price of assisted living, which is the least expensive option.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Wisconsin

Assisted Living Medicaid Waivers

Wisconsin has Medicaid waivers available for home and community based care such as services received while in assisted living facilities. These waivers are now available in all 72 counties, without waiting lists for eligible participants.

IRIS Self-Directed Support Waiver

IRIS stands for Include, Respect, I Self-Direct and it provides a means for every resident that needs nursing home level care is able to decide their care providers, living environment and personal care services within an individual budget. Participants create personal care plans with the help of their caseworker, care team and a nurse that will re-evaluate the plan at least once a year. This waiver is for people who would like to self-direct their care as much as possible, and are not residents of assisted living facilities.

Family Care Waiver

The Family Care Medicaid waiver is for the frail elderly (meaning age 65 and older and in need of help with activities of daily living) who need financial assistance paying for long-term care services. This waiver may pay for room and board in a Medicaid certified community-based residential facility (CBRF) or residential care apartment complex (RCAC). Participating facilities are bound to strict resident rights regulations, such as required space and transportation services.

Who is Eligible?

Waivers for long-term care funding are created for participants who would otherwise need nursing home care. Applicants must qualify for Medicaid to be eligible the waiver. To qualify for long-term care coverage through Medicaid, Wisconsin citizens must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be legal US citizens or resident aliens, and residents of the state.
  • Monthly income limits are set at 300% of the federal SSI standard, which is a total of $2,313 for an individual and $3,471 for a married couple in 2019.
  • Total assets cannot exceed $2,000, or $3,000 for a couple. Community spouse laws may apply that allow for protection of some assets, like houses with equities valued between $585,000 and $878,000. An eligible spouse may have other income guidelines and some asset protection.
  • The applicants need to be age 65 and older, or disabled.

How to Apply

To find out if the Medicaid waivers are right for you and your loved ones, and what you are eligible for, contact the Wisconsin Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) or your Medicaid worker.

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 Wisconsin

Elder Tax Counseling and Preparation Assistance

The state partners with the IRS and the AARP to provide free tax counseling and filing assistance for elders. Interested elders can also volunteer their time to help others with tax questions and preparation. Visit the Wisconsin elder tax assistance website or call (608) 266-2486 to find a participating tax preparation site.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) program provides free advocacy and counseling to residents over age 60, caretakers, and loved ones of consumers of long-term care facilities in Wisconsin. You can see the name of your area Ombudsman here, e-mail, or call 1-800-815-0015 to speak with an Ombudsman for services like:

  • Investigation of complaints against long-term care services (complaint form).
  • Resolution and mediation of issues regarding long-term care, and bringing in enforcement agencies where necessary.
  • Information and education on long-term care facilities, resident rights, and abuse reporting and prevention.

Wisconsin Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a network of hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the country that provide federally and locally funded services to adults over 60 in their areas. Wisconsin has many Area Agencies on Aging that provide free resources to seniors and serve as entry points to long-term care assistance like Medicaid waiver guidance and long-term care advocacy.

In many areas of Wisconsin, the Aging and Disability Resource Centers serve as the AAA for the region. See the table below to find the nearest AAA point of contact.

Area Agency on Aging Address Phone Number
Main Office 1414 MacArthur Rd, Ste A
Madison, WI 53714
(608) 243-5670
Green Bay Office 201 W. Walnut St, Ste 204
Green Bay, WI 54303
(608) 243-5670
Brookfield Office 125 N. Executive Dr., Ste. 207
Brookfield, WI 53005
(608) 243-5670
Tribal Technical Assistance Center P.O. Box 9
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538
(800) 472-7207
Buffalo County Dept of Health Human Services 407 S. 2nd St.
Alma, WI 54610-0517
(608) 685-6317
Adam’s County ADRC 569 North Cedar Street, Suite #4
Adams, WI 53910
(608) 339-4251 or
(877) 883-5378
Ashland County Aging Unit 400 Chapple Ave., Suite 100
Ashland WI 54806
(715) 682-4414 ext. 4
Barron County Office On Aging 335 E. Monroe Ave, Room 112
Barron, WI 54812
(715) 537-6244 or
(888) 535-3031
Bayfield County ADRC 117 East 5th St.
Washburn WI 54891
(715) 373-6144 ext 174 or
(866) 663-3607
ADRC of Brown County 300 S. Adams St.
Green Bay, WI 54301
(920) 448-4300
ADRC of Northwest Wisconsin 7410 County Road K, Suite 180
Siren, WI 54872
(715) 349-2100
ADRC of Calumet County 206 Court St.
Chilton, WI 53014
(920) 849-1451 or
(866) 739-2372
ADRC of Chippewa County 711 N. Bridge St., #118
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
(715) 726-7777 or
(888) 400-6920
ADRC of Clark County 517 Court St., #201
Neillsville, WI 54456
(715) 743-5144 or
(866) 743-5144
ADRC of Columbia County 111 Mullett St
Portage, WI 53901-0136
(608) 742-9233 or
(888) 742-9233
ADRC of Eagle Country 225 North Beaumont Rd
Prairie Du Chien, WI 53821
(608) 326-0235
Area Agency on Aging of Dane County 2865 N. Sherman Avenue
Madison WI 53704
(608) 261-9930
ADRC of Dodge County 199 County Rd. DF
Juneau, WI 53039
(920) 386-3580 or
(800) 924-6407
Door County Senior Resource Center 832 N 14th Ave.
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 746-2372 or
(855) 828-2372
Douglas County Government Center 1316 North 14th St.
Superior, WI 54880
(715) 395-1234 or
(866) 946-2372
ADRC of Dunn County 3001 US Hwy 12 E, Ste 160
Menomonie, WI 54751
(715) 232-4006
ADRC of Eau Claire County 721 Oxford Ave., #1550
Eau Claire, WI 54703
(715) 839-4735 or
(888) 338-4636
ADRC of Florence County 501 Lake Ave
Florence, WI 54121
(715) 528-4890 or
(888) 528-2372
Fond Du Lac Dept. of Senior Services 160 South Macy St.
Fond Du Lac, WI 54935
(920) 929-3113 or
(800) 215-5494
Forest County Office on Aging 200 E Madison St
Crandon WI 54520
(715) 478-3256
ADRC of Grant County 8829 South Hwy 35/61
Lancaster, WI 53813
(608) 723-6113 or
(800) 514-0066
ADRC of Green County N3152 State Road 81
Monroe, WI 53566
(608) 328-9499 or
(877) 794-2372
Green Lake County DHHS Aging Unit 571 County Rd A, PO Box 588
Green Lake, WI 54941
(877) 883-5378 or
(920) 294-4070
ADRC of Iowa County 303 W. Chapel St.
Dodgeville, WI 53533
(608) 930-9835 or
(877) 794-2372
ADRC of Iron County 300 Taconite St, Suite 201
Hurley, WI 54534
(715) 561-3636 or
(866) 663-3607
ADRC of Jackson County 420 Hwy 54 West
Black River Falls, WI 54615
(715) 284-4301 ext. 353 or
(844) 493-4245
ADRC of Jefferson County 1541 Annex Road
Jefferson, WI 53549
(920) 674-8734 or
(866) 740-2372
Juneau County ADRC 220 Hickory St.
Mauston, WI 53948
(608) 847-9371
ADRC of Kenosha County 8600 Sheridan Road #500
Kenosha, WI 53143
(262) 605-6646 or
(800) 472-8008
ADRC of the Lakeshore 810 Lincoln St.
Kewaunee, WI 54216
(877) 416-7083
ADRC of La Crosse County 300 4th St. North
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 785-5700 or
(800) 500-3910
ADRC of Lafayette County 627 Main St.
Darlington, WI 53530
(608) 776-4960
ADRC of Langlade County 2600 Stewart Ave., Suite 25
Wausau, WI 54401
(715) 261-6070 or
(888) 486-9545
ADRC of Lincoln County 1000 Lake View Dr.
Wausau, WI 54403
(715) 536-0311 or
(888) 486-9545
Manitowoc County ADRC 1701 Michigan Ave.
Manitowoc, WI 54220
(877) 416-7083
ADRC of Marathon County 2600 Steward Ave., Suite 25
Wausau WI 54401
(715) 261-6070 or
(888) 486-9545
Marinette County Elderly Services PO Box 456
Crivitz, WI 54114-0456
(715) 854-7453 or
(800) 990-4242
ADRC of Marquette County 428 Underwood Ave.
Montello, WI 53949
(608) 297-3124
Menominee County / Tribal Aging Division N 2222 White Cedar
Keshena, WI 54135
(715) 799-5271
Milwaukee County Dept on Aging 1220 W. Vliet St., Suite 302
Milwaukee WI 53205
(414) 289-5950 or
(866) 229-9695
ADRC of Monroe County 315 West Oak Street
Sparta, WI 54656
(888) 339-7854
Oconto County Commission on Aging 1210 Main St.
Oconto, WI 54153
(920) 834-7707 or
(800) 649-6568
Oneida County Department on Aging 100 W Keenan St.
Rhinelander, WI 54501
(715) 369-6170 or
(800) 379-7499
ADRC of Outagamie County 320 S. Walnut St.
Appleton, WI 54911-5985
(920) 832-5178
ADRC of Ozaukee County 121 W. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-8120
Pepin County Human Services Aging Unit 740 7th Ave. West
Durand, WI 54736
(715) 672-8941
ADRC of Pierce County 412 W. Kinne St
Ellsworth, WI 54011
(715) 273-6780 or
(877) 273-0804
Polk County ADRC 100 Polk CO Plaza, #60
Balsam Lake, WI 54810
(715) 485-8449
ADRC of Portage County 1519 Water St.
Stevens Point, WI 54481
(715) 346-1401 or
(866) 920-2525
ADRC of Price County 104 S Eyder Ave.
Phillips, WI 54555
(715) 339-5238
ADRC of Racine County 14200 Washington Ave.
Sturtevant, WI 53177
(262) 833-8777 or
(866) 219-1043
ADRC of Eagle Country, Richland County 221 W Seminary St.
Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 647-4616
Rock County Council on Aging 51 S Main St.
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 757-5472
Rusk County Senior Services 311 E Miner AVE #C260
Ladysmith WI 54848
(715) 532-2176
ADRC of Eagle Country – Sauk County 505 Broadway
Baraboo, WI 53913
(608) 355-3289 or
(877) 794-2372
ADRC of the North – Sawyer County 10610 Main St.
Hayward, WI 54843
(866) 663-3607
Shawano County Aging Unit 607 E Elizabeth St
Shawano WI 54166
(715) 526-4700
Sheboygan ADRC 650 Forest Ave.
Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085
(920) 467-4100 or
(800) 596-1919
St Croix County ADRC 1752 Dorset Lane
New Richmond, WI 54017
(715) 381-4360 or
(800) 372-2333
ADRC of the Northwoods, Taylor County 845B East Broadway Ave.
Medford, WI 54451
(800) 699-6704
ADRC of Trempealeau County 36245 Main St.
Whitehall, WI 54773
(715) 538-2001 or
(800) 273-2001
ADRC of Vernon County 402 Courthouse Square
Viroqua, WI 54665
(608) 637-5201 or
(888) 637-1323
Vilas County Commission on Aging 330 Court St
Eagle River, WI 54521
(715) 479-3625 or
(800) 374-1123
Walworth County Aging Unit W4051 County Road NN
Elkhorn, WI 53121
(262) 741-3400 or
(800) 365-1587
Washburn County Unit on Aging 850 W. Beaverbrook Ave, Ste 4
Spooner, WI 54801
(715) 635-4460 or
(888) 538-3031
ADRC of Washington County 333 E Washington St., #1000
West Bend, WI 53095
(262) 335-4497
ADRC of Waupaca County 811 Harding St
Waupaca, WI 54981
(715) 258-6400 or
(800) 739-2372
ADRC of Waukesha County 514 Riverview Ave.
Waukesha, WI 53188
(262) 548-7848 or
(866) 677-2372
Waushara County Dept of Aging Services 209 S Ste Marie St
Wautoma, WI 54982
(920) 787-0403 or
(877) 364-5344
Winnebago County Elderly Services 220 Washington Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54903
(877) 886-2372
ADRC of Central Wisconsin, Wood County 1000 Lake View Dr
Wausau, WI 54403
(262) 548-7848 or
(866) 677-2372
Bad River Tribal Aging Program 53508 Nokomis Road
Odanah, WI 54806
(715) 682-7150
Forest County Potawatomi Elderly Dept 5450 Kak Yot Lane
Crandon, WI 54520
(715) 478-4892
Ho Chunk Tribal Aging Unit W8825 Decorah Road
Black River Falls, WI 54615
(888) 701-8284
Lac Courte Oreilles Elderly Reserve Site 13878 W Agency Road
Stone Lake WI 54876
(715) 957-0027
Lac Du Flambeau Tribe Aging Services 125 Old Abe Rd/Hwy 47
Lac Du Flambeau, WI 54538
(715) 588-4388
Stockbridge Munsee Elder Center N8651 Maplewood St.
Bowler WI 54416
(715) 793-4236
Menominee Tribe Aging Division N2222 White Cedar Road
Keshena, WI 54135
(715) 799-5240
Oneida Tribe Elder Services 2907 S Overland Road
Oneida, WI 54155
(920) 869-2448 or
(800) 867-1551
Red Cliff Elderly Services Program 88385 Pike Road, Hwy 13
Bayfield, WI 54814
(715) 779-3706
Sokaogon Chippewa Elder Services 3154 State Hwy 55
Crandon, WI 54520
(715) 478-7629
St. Croix Tribal Aging Unit 24663 Angeline Ave.
Webster, WI 54893
(800) 236-2195 ext. 5116

Veterans Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs in Wisconsin provides many services for eligible veterans, including:

See the listings below to find your nearest VA office to apply for benefits.

VA Office Address Phone Number
Veterans Benefits Resource Center 201 W. Washington Ave
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 266-1311 or
(800) 947-8387
WDVA Claims Assistance Office 5400 W. National Ave., Room 157
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 902-5757
American Ex-Prisoners of War 805 Glenview Drive
Madison, WI 53716
(608) 222-2622
Blinded Veterans Association of WI 5400 W. National Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 382-5220
Disabled American Veterans 5400 W. National Ave., Rm. 162
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 902-5736
Ho-Chunk Nation VSO PO Box 667
Black River Falls, WI 54615
(800) 294-9343
Military Order of the Purple Heart 5400 W. National Ave., Rm. 159
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 902-5742
National Association for Black Veterans PO Box 11432
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 342-5000
Oneida Nation Veterans Service Officer 2615 S. Packerland Dr., Suite C
Oneida, WI 54155
(920) 490-3921
Paralyzed Veterans of America 5400 W. National Ave., Rm. 168
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 902-5655
Veterans of Foreign Wars 5400 W. National Ave., Rm. 166
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 902-5748
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa 73430 US Hwy. 2
Odanah, WI 54681
(715) 685-9461
Forest County Potawatomi 5416 Everybody’s Road
Crandon, WI 54520
(715) 478-7200
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa 13878 W. North Agency Road
Stone Lake, WI 54876
(715) 957-0077
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa 409 Little Pines Road
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538
(715) 588-4174
Menominee Nation & Menominee County W3191 Fredenburg Drive
Keshena, WI 54135
(715) 799-3729
Oneida Nation Benefits Office 134 Riverdale Drive
Oneida, WI 54155
(920) 869-1133
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Benefits Office 88385 Pike Road
Red Cliff, WI 54814
(715) 779-3700
St. Croix Tribe Benefits Office 24663 Angeline Ave.
Webster, WI 54893
(715) 416-3580
Sokaogon Chippewa Community Benefits Office 3051 Sand Lake Road
Crandon, WI 54520
(715) 478-6441
Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians Benefits Office W12180A County Rd. A
Bowler, WI 54416
(715) 793-4944

Social Security Offices

Call or visit your local Social Security Administration office to find out about potential retirement benefits, disability, medical coverage or for questions about federal programs for elders. Go online or call (800) 772-1213 to speak to a representative.

Wisconsin Senior Centers

There are many senior centers in Wisconsin which offer a variety of services, such as:

  • Communal and home-delivered meals
  • Art and jewelry making classes, as well as outdoor activities like senior hikes.
  • Exercise, yoga and balance-improvement programs
  • Foot care, massage, blood pressure monitoring, and other healthcare clinics
  • Scheduled games like bingo, poker and pinochle, and free use game rooms, libraries, and computer labs
  • Community events like holiday parties, bake sales, and craft fairs, and cultural activities like trips to museums, parks, and historical sites
  • Durable medical equipment (DME) like wheelchairs and hearing aids to borrow
  • Senior service specialists to counsel and enroll eligible seniors in local programs like Meals on Wheels, senior food boxes, food pantries, and clothing closets

See this list of senior centers in Wisconsin that have websites. Click and find the activities calendars to see more about the programs they offer and what their fees might be, as well as the minimum age for services (usually 60 in Wisconsin). Call your local Area Agency on Aging to find senior centers that aren’t on this list as well as to find more aging resources.

Senior Center Address Phone Number
Middleton Senior Citizen Center 7448 Hubbard Ave
Middleton, WI 53562
(608) 831-2373
Waunakee Senior Center 333 S Madison St
Waunakee, WI 53597
(608) 849-8385
Kelly Senior Center 6100 S Lake Dr
Cudahy, WI 53110
(414) 481-9611
Germantown Senior Activity Center N112 W17001 Mequon Road
Germantown, WI 53022
(262) 250-4700
Kenosha Senior Center 2717 67th St
Kenosha, WI 53143
(262) 359-6260
West Allis Senior Center 7001 W National Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 302-8700
Janesville Senior Center 69 S Water St
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-3040
Madison Senior Center 330 W Mifflin St
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 266-6581
Watertown Senior Citizens Center 514 S 1st St
Watertown, WI 53094
(920) 262-8099
Monona Senior Center 1011 Nichols Rd
Monona, WI 53716
(608) 222-3415
Fitchburg Senior Center 5510 Lacy Rd
Fitchburg, WI 53711
(608) 270-4290
Wilson Senior Center 2601 W Howard Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53221
(414) 282-5566
Stoughton Area Senior Center 248 W Main St #1
Stoughton, WI 53589
(608) 873-8585
West Madison Senior Center 5724 Raymond Rd
Madison, WI 53711
(608) 238-7368
Brookfield Senior Community 2000 N Calhoun Rd
Brookfield, WI 53005
(262) 796-6675
Oregon Area Senior Center 219 Park St
Oregon, WI 53575
(608) 835-5801
Platteville Senior Center & PEAK Program 155 W Lewis St
Platteville, WI 53818
(608) 348-9934
Cedarburg Senior Center Ozaukee Interurban Trail
Cedarburg, WI 53012
(262) 375-7644
Behring Senior Center 1113 10th St
Monroe, WI 53566
(608) 325-3173
McGovern Park Senior Center 4500 W Custer Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53218
(414) 527-0990
Verona Senior Center 108 Paoli St.
Verona, WI 53593
(608) 845-7471
Seniors In The Park 504 W Starin Rd
Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 473-0535
Grinnell Senior Center 631 Bluff St
Beloit, WI 53511
(608) 364-2875
Grafton Multipurpose Senior Center 1665 7th Ave
Grafton, WI 53024
(262) 375-5311
Sugar River Senior Center 21 S Vine St
Belleville, WI 53508
(608) 424-6007
Burlington Senior Center 201 N Main St
Burlington, WI 53105
(262) 767-9880
Baraboo Area Senior Center 124 2nd St #24
Baraboo, WI 53913
(608) 356-8464
The Colonial Club 301 Blankenheim Ln
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
(608) 837-4611
Clinton Rose Senior Center 3045 N Dr Martin Luther King
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 263-2255
Sussex Village Senior Center N64W23760 Main Street
Sussex, WI 53089
(262) 246-5200
Columbus Senior Citizens Center “125 N Dickason Blvd
Columbus, WI 53925
(920) 623-5918
Waupun Senior Center 301 E Main St
Waupun, WI 53963
(920) 324-7930
Rock County Golden Diners Dining Sites Multiple Sites Across Rock County (608) 757-5474
Westosha Senior Center 19200 93rd St
Bristol, WI 53104
(262) 891-3436
Washington Park Senior Center 4420 W Vliet St
Milwaukee, WI 53208
(414) 933-2332
Port Washington Senior Center 403 W Foster St
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-5821
Mount Horeb Senior Center 107 N Grove St
Mt Horeb, WI 53572
(608) 437-6902
North Eastside Senior Coalition 1625 Northport Dr
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 243-5252
Grobschmidt Senior Center 2424 15th Ave
South Milwaukee, WI 53172
(414) 768-8045
United Community Senior Center

Has Latino staff and activities

1028 South 9th Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204
(414) 384-3100

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, assisted living is delivered in a community-based residential facility (CBRF). These facilities offer the lowest level of assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), providing no more than three hours of care a week. There are many facilities in Wisconsin designed for elders who want to remain in their chosen community as they age but will need more access to services as they become increasingly frail. A CBRF may contain wings called residential care apartment complexes (RCAC), designed for residents with higher care needs, which can provide up to 28 hours of care a week. RCACs can operate independently as well as within a CBRF.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

To be a resident of a CBRF, a person may need personal care services but for no more than three hours a week. The CBRF may admit a wider range of residents, such as the developmentally disabled or mentally ill as well as the elderly and those with dementia. No assisted living facility is able to extend residency to someone who is unable to evacuate on their own in the case of an emergency.

Requirements differ for admission to an RCAC. These facilities are designed for those that need higher levels of care but are not:

  • Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia
  • Incapacitated from making their own decisions
  • In need of in-depth health monitoring

People who fall into this category may move in with their spouses, as long as their spouses hold legal responsibility.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities must provide their residents with:

  • Three regularly scheduled meals daily served restaurant or family style, and full access to snacks at all times, and accommodate any residents special diet wishes or physician prescribed diet. There are strict requirements for kitchen safety and food preparation hygiene in facilities as well.
  • A clean, odor-free and home-like apartment that is decorated and fully furnished, unless the resident wishes to provide their own furniture.
  • Clean and well-maintained laundry facilities.

The CBRF is for residents who currently need a low level of personal care but want to enjoy the other benefits of communal living like family dining and chore assistance. As more services are required, many facilities offer a residential care apartment complex (RCAC) within the community to provide residents the opportunity to increase their care services without moving from their chosen homes. An RCAC is for residents who may initially only need four hours of care per week, but will eventually need up to 28. Personal care services include:

  • Supportive services like housekeeping, transportation, and recreational activities
  • Personal assistance with activities of daily living (ADL)
  • Nursing services such as medication management and administration
  • Emergency assistance available 24 hours a day

There is no limit to the hours of personal care a resident can receive from friends and family, or for those under hospice care. A resident who experiences an injury or sudden illness may utilize more than 28 hours of care a week and stay in the facility as long as the condition lasts no longer than 90 days.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

While Wisconsin Medicaid doesn’t directly cover the costs of assisted living, it does provide assisted living waivers for the elderly and disabled residents who qualify under age, income, and other restrictions. The Family Care program provides funding for eligible seniors to live in a community-based residential facility (CBRF) or certified residential care apartment complex (RCAC). This program has recently expanded to all 72 counties as of 2018, without waitlists.

Assisted Living Community Requirements

All residents of assisted living in Wisconsin are entitled to their own private apartments, complete with individual living and sleeping areas, restrooms, and kitchen areas. A CBRF may contain between 5 and 257 apartments, while a higher care-level providing RCAC can have between 5 and 109 individual apartments.

Assisted Living Service Agreements

Residents of residential care apartment complex (RCAC) communities in Wisconsin need to complete a service agreement and a risk agreement by the move-in date. The service agreement outlines services that a resident would be provided in the facility and their associated costs, as well as additional services that could be provided to the tenant. Facilities must also specify how they notify their resident’s of changes in fees in this contract. The service agreementdetails the activities and social connections that the facility will assist the resident in maintaining.

The risk agreement is a document that outlines any situation in which a resident would desire a course of action that is contrary to facility policy. In an effort to maximize resident free will, any possible adverse scenario needs to be outlined in advance in a risk agreement to ensure that the facility is respecting the resident’s wishes at all times, regardless of policy. One example that could be negotiated in a risk contract is mobility devices, such as the preference of a cane over a walker; even though a facility might find a walker safer, a resident could choose a cane.

A community based residential facility (CBRF) has an admissions agreement the includes the information found in a service agreement as well as tenant information. Information needed includes security deposits required, policies regarding holding rooms while residents are away, refunds, and move-out notification policies.

Medication Management Regulations

Residents in assisted living in Wisconsin must have a prescriber’s orders for any medication and list that medication in their service plans. A registered nurse may assist in taking or give medication to a resident, and it also must be documented in their plans if they are receiving assistance with medication. If there are residents that take psychotropic medications living in an assisted living facility, the residential care staff must be trained in the side effects of that medication and that resident needs their medication assessed quarterly.

Wisconsin Assisted Living Staffing Requirements

The facility manager must be present from at least 7 am to 7 pm if residents are present, and 24 hours a day for larger facilities. The facility manager must have at least two years of experience or a degree in healthcare. In an RCAC, there must always be a staff manager awake and available to help residents with whatever needs may arise. This person determines the staffing requirements for the facility.

Licensed caregivers must be at least 21 years old and pass all background check requirements, but resident care staff need only be 18 years old. All staff are screened annually for transmittable diseases including tuberculosis. All residential care community employees have an individual file with all employment, training, background check, and screening information.

Assisted Living Staff Training Requirements

Generally, the facilities that manage direct care staff are responsible for providing training programs for all employees in the facility. Personal care services are provided by licensed providers like the resident’s nurse. All employees of a community-based residential facility (CBRF) must be trained within 90 days of employment in:

  • First aid, CPR, and other safety training
  • Fire prevention, control, and evacuation policies
  • Any service that they are employed to provide

Care staff in residential care apartment complexes (RCACs) are required to be trained in the any area before providing care, or be supervised while working. Personal care services that require training include:

  • Medication management if the employee will help with medication.
  • Bathing, grooming, dressing, and skin care
  • Transferring and walking
  • Exercising
  • Meal preparation and eating

Nurses and administrators are held to higher standards, requiring a nursing license and a nursing home administrator license, respectively.

Background Checks

The state requires that all administrators, operators, healthcare staff and any applicant over the age of 18 to a direct care position submit to a thorough background check, even in the case of temporary employment. This check must be done at the time of application as well as every four years, with inquiries to:

If the prospective caregiver is a new (within the past three years) resident of Wisconsin, they are also required to submit to an FBI fingerprint database check. Licensed healthcare workers and administrators are also searched for in the Department of Safety and Professional Services for adverse findings.

No one convicted of a serious crime may be licensed to operate an assisted living facility. A fine of up to $1,000 can be imposed if a person intentionally neglects to inform a facility of their convictions. All caregivers found to have violent, neglectful or otherwise abusive activity in their background checks are placed on the lifetime caregiver misconduct registry and are required to provide information about the convictions and their rehabilitation efforts to their resident clients and/or client’s families.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Community-based residential facilities (CBRF) and residential care apartment complexes (RCAC) are required to meet the care needs of the people that live there, as well as all unscheduled needs and 24-hour security. While a CBRF is licensed by the state, An RCAC may be either registered or certified. Certified RCACs are eligible for Medicaid payments, are inspected and complaints are investigated. A registered RCAC must only investigate complaints, they aren’t inspected and, as such, can’t accept Medicaid.

In the event that a facility doesn’t abide by their responsibilities, you can contact the Long-Term Care Consumers board, or the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to help find a resolution. To report an issue with a caregiver or nurse aide, call 608-243-2019 or visit the caregiver complaint submission website.

To report abuse or yourself or a loved one, please call the Wisconsin’s Victim Resource Center at 1-800-446-6564.