Consumer Guide to Health Care - Finding and Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living Facilities are for individuals who need some level of care monitoring services but choose to live in a setting without 24-hour access to nursing services.

Wisconsin licenses, certifies, registers and regulates four types of assisted living facilities and programs:

Looking for an Assisted Living Facility?

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC): ADRCs provide information on broad range of programs and services, help people understand the various long term care options available to them, help people apply for programs and benefits, and serve as the access point for publicly-funded long term care. These services can be provided at the ADRC, via telephone, or through a home visit, whichever is more convenient to the individual seeking help.

County-By-County Directories of Wisconsin Residential Care Providers: Locate a health or residential care provider in a specific county.

DHS Provider Search:  Locate a health or residential care provider and obtain compliance history information.

Statewide Assisted Living Directories

Compliance Information

Choosing Wisconsin Residential Care Options: Learn more about the compliance history of individual facilities for the four assisted living provider types regulated by the Department. Learn more about the information included on the facility profiles.

DHS Provider Search: Locate a health or residential care provider and obtain compliance history information.

Assisted Living Facility Survey Guide (PDF, 118 KB)

Complaints Regarding Wisconsin Health and Residential Care Providers

The Department of Health Services Division of Quality Assurance is responsible for assuring the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Wisconsin.  If any individual believes that a caregiver, agency, or Department regulated facility has violated State or Federal laws pertaining to regulated entities, that individual has the right to file a complaint.

Client Rights

Wisconsin Client Rights: Anyone who is receiving services for mental illness, a developmental disability, or substance abuse in the state of Wisconsin has specific rights under Wisconsin Statute 51 (State Alcohol, Drug Abuse, Developmental Disability and Mental Health Act)subsections 51.61 and 51.30. (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Advance Directives: An advance directive describes, in writing, your choices about the treatments you want or do not want or about how health care decisions should be made for you if you become incapacitated and cannot express your wishes.

Resources for Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

The Department of Health Services does not refer residents for placement in assisted living facilities.  The links below to state and national resources may be useful in selecting an assisted living facility.

More help

Wisconsin Affordable Assisted Living is an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services with technical support from NCB Development Services. Their site includes a consumer information page.

Wisconsin Coalition for Collaborative Excellence in Assisted Living (WCCEAL) is a coalition that is dedicated to improving the outcomes of individuals living in Wisconsin's Assisted Living Facilities.

Caregiver Center, from the Alzheimer's Association, provides online resources and a telephone helpline that can help you determine your care needs and care options.

Thinking of Moving to an Assisted Living Residence?; This guide from the Coalition of Institutionalized Aged and Disabled and the Nursing Home Community Coalition of New York State provides those thinking of moving to an assisted living residence with questions to ask and things to consider.

Last Revised: January 16, 2015