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How much do you know about housing and services for people over the age of 65? Take this quick quiz and see how you score!

1. Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) now can provide all the same healthcare services as Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). True or False
2. All Home Health Services accept Medicare. True or False
3. In order to quality for medical assistance at an ALF, you must live there a required period of time. True or False
4. Nursing home costs within the same area are pretty much the same. True or False
5. Most ALFs costs are pretty much the same. True or False
6. Most Adult Day Services accept medical assistance payments. True or False


1. False. ALFs have a different state license than skilled nursing facilities and are not set up to provide 24/7 care for all residents. They may include certain medical cares in their list of services but these will come at an extra cost and may be provided by an outside agency. The number and training of nurses and nursing assistants is also different in an ALF.
2. False. Some Home Health agencies do accept Medicare but others are all private pay. Depending on the level of care you receive, costs can range from $30 to $40/hour.
3. False. Most ALFs reserve a certain number of apartments for residents whose healthcare or financial circumstances change over time and will qualify for Elderly Waiver (EW). Generally, preference will be given to current residents so you may be given an estimated time of how long a resident must live there before qualifying for EW. It is not a requirement, however, and some ALFs reserve more apartments than others for this purpose.
4. True. All nursing homes (SNF’s) are licensed by the state and consistency of care and cost is regulated. Costs are based on each individual’s care plan. There is no “base rent” and prices reflect daily care needs with no extra, hidden costs. Nursing homes in the Twin Cities will quote an estimated $6,000-$9,000/month but this varies in rural areas and smaller cities.
5. False. ALFs are licensed differently and are considered a senior housing option. Typically, residents are charged a monthly rental fee for an apartment similar to an independent senior living community. Then you pay for additional services on top of that amount. These may include laundry, housekeeping, meals and personal cares . Sometimes costs are bundled into packages to make pricing easier for residents. The cost for these services, the type of packages offered and the base rent vary widely so that it may be difficult to compare ALF costs on an “apples-to-apples” basis.
6. True. Adult Day continues to be one of the most affordable ways to provide qualified care to seniors needing additional daily assistance. It’s a great option for in-home caregivers to give them a break and know their family member is getting good care. Most will accept Elderly Waiver or CADI payments. Some accept VA payments as well.


All 6 Correct: You’re a pro! You’re either in the senior services industry or you’ve been doing this for a long time.

4-5 Correct: You’re a savvy senior shopper who looks closely at your options and the costs involved.

Less than 4 Correct: You’re still learning. The fact you took this quiz indicates you’d like to know more than you do. There’s a lot more to learn about senior services and costs and EPPIA is a great place to learn more. Visit our website at

Anne Tabat is the Community Relations Manager at Walker Methodist Health Center whose introduction to the senior services industry was ignited by her adventurous mother who housing and care needs spanned the spectrum of options available.

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at

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