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How Does Assisted Living Placement Work in Pennsylvania?

Assisted living placement in Pennsylvania is a complex process that requires careful consideration by all involved. The following guide will provide an overview of assisted living placement in Pennsylvania, including what factors the Board considers when making placement decisions for assisted living in Horsham, how the process works, and additional resources that may be helpful as you search for a facility that fits your needs.

The Placement Process

Pennsylvania’s Guardianship Board is responsible for determining eligibility and approving candidates for assisted care services. Before the Board approves an individual for placement, it must determine the individual cannot perform certain activities of daily living without assistance. It also must consider all available options for care and determine whether remaining at home is the best choice for the individual. 

In some cases, individuals eligible for assisted living placement choose to stay in their homes rather than move into an assisted living facility. In other cases, individuals may need to relocate to an assisted living facility for all or part of the time they receive services. Individuals whose needs exceed the capacity of in-home services or who choose residential care will be given priority in admission to a care facility. When determining eligibility for placement, the Guardianship Board will look at the following criteria:


Age is a critical consideration when determining whether someone requires assisted care. According to the law, only people over 60 may be eligible for assisted care services. However, this age limit is not absolute and may not apply when a person cannot live independently due to medical conditions or disabilities that are particularly severe.

Legal Dependents

If the patient has legal dependents, they also play a role in the evaluation process. For example, when a legal dependent is considered too young to care for an elderly parent, the court may require that the patient be placed in a care facility immediately. A licensed care facility must ensure all family members are well cared for and can accommodate the patient’s needs while providing a safe and welcoming environment for all residents.

Level of Assistance Required

If the individual needs assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, or using the bathroom, they would be eligible for these services. In addition, most assisted living facilities consider the resident’s medical history and provide services such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and medication management.

Existing Medical Conditions

People with disabilities often have extensive care requirements to manage and monitor their conditions and help them stay healthy. To qualify for this type of assistance, the person must be physically or mentally incapacitated to the point that they cannot perform routine tasks independently. During the placement process, the Guardianship Board will consider any existing medical conditions to determine whether the patient requires additional care and supervision to improve these conditions.

Cognitive Disorders

Another factor the Board considers when considering an individual for placement is their mental state. Those with severe cognitive disorders may require constant supervision and monitoring to ensure they stay safe and do not harm themselves or others. In addition, those with severe cognitive impairments often have difficulty communicating their needs and preferences to caregivers.

Requirements for Facilities

The Guardianship Board will approve the individual for admission to a care facility based on the following criteria:

  • The individual’s medical and physical needs
  • The number of available beds at the facility
  • The individual’s financial resources
  • Any other requirements set by the facility or Guardianship Board

The Board will make recommendations for placement based on these factors and then review the facility’s requests for approval or denial. If the facility is suitable for the individual, the individual will be allowed to move in and begin receiving services. After some time, the Board will reassess to determine whether the individual is still in need of assistance or additional services to meet their needs.

For example, suppose the Board determines that the individual’s needs have changed or that they are not safe to live in the care facility. In that case, the Board will move them to another facility and provide them with the necessary additional services. This process will continue until the individual no longer needs residential services.

How Are Patients Protected?

To help ensure the safety of people receiving services, all senior living facilities must be licensed and meet state requirements for safety and staffing before assisted living placement. In addition, each facility must have a social worker on staff available to help people with Medicaid coverage and provide information about their benefits. 

To optimize the level of care patients receive, staff members must follow each person’s treatment plan and regularly monitor their health. In addition, facilities must conduct background checks on all employees to ensure they are not convicted felons or have criminal records that would prevent them from working with people with special needs.

Confidentiality is another priority for facilities and employees providing services to residents. Employees must follow state and federal laws regarding confidentiality and are not allowed to discuss residents’ medical conditions with anyone other than their legal guardians. In addition, all medical records are kept in a secure location and are only accessible by staff with a legitimate need for the information.

Get Help With Assisted Living Placement Today

At We Care Senior Solutions, we help our clients and their families with everything from finding the ideal assisted living community to providing guidance and assistance throughout a patient’s transition. Our expert staff can help you determine which type of facility is most appropriate for your family member and help with every step of assisted living placement. 

If you’d like to learn about the differences between assisted living vs. skilled nursing or find answers to common questions regarding assisted living communities, feel free to explore the rest of our website. If you prefer a live human or have questions not answered by any of our online materials, call We Care Senior Solutions at to speak with one of our friendly staff members today.

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