Avalon FAQ’s

What is Assisted Living?

In New York State, Assisted Living is defined as a residence for seniors that provides assistance with the activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, grooming, monitoring of medications and scheduling doctors’ appointments. Meals, housekeeping and laundry services are also provided.

Families who find that their loved ones cannot live safely at home any more and need help with at least one of the activities mentioned above—but do not need round-the-clock skilled nursing or medical services—should look for a suitable assisted living program or facility.

At Avalon Assisted Living our aides are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a comfortable, caring setting attended by an expert and dedicated staff. We are family-owned and the Reckess family’s goal is to provide our residents with considerate and respectful care and to be attentive to their quality of life, dignity, independence and general wellness.

What’s the difference between a licensed and an unlicensed assisted living facility?

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) sets very strict standards for assisted living facilities that wish to qualify for a state license. Licensed facilities are held to these standards ensuring seniors the highest level of safety and comfort.

The Avalon is one of the very few assisted living facilities in the area that is licensed by the NYS DOH. This is an extremely important factor to consider. It means that we are inspected regularly by the DOH and we constantly strive to achieve excellence.

Not all senior assisted living facilities meet these standards. There are facilities that provide similar assisted living services but are not licensed and therefore not subject to DOH oversight.

It is important to always ask if an assisted living facility is DOH licensed in order to find the best quality of care for your loved one.

Does Medicare pay for assisted living?

Medicare does not pay for assisted living.

Does Medicaid pay for assisted living?

For qualified individuals, Medicaid will pay for the assisted living or medical portion of the cost of a facility. The amount Medicaid will pay is based on a daily rate which is determined by the Patient Review Instrument (PRI) score of the qualifying individual. The PRI is an evaluation prepared by an RN certified by NY State that determines the level of assisted living care an individual requires. Click here for payment options.

Do you care for people with Dementia?

The population of the Avalon includes seniors with mild Alzheimers/Dementia. For those residents who have exit-seeking behaviors, we have a Wander Guard System that alerts us if a resident begins to wander so that we may redirect them.

The best way to determine if the Avalon is appropriate for your loved one with a degree of Dementia is to come in to visit with us. Please schedule a tour so that we can help make that assessment.

How much does it cost to live at the Avalon?

Many people comment that they consider the Avalon to be a very reasonably priced assisted living facility. We have an all-inclusive monthly rate that only varies with the choice of a private or semi-private room. Only telephone and hair salon services are not included.

Keep in mind that many other facilities charge their residents for a variety of add-ons, which would be included in Avalon’s monthly charge. Click here for the list of services included.

Please come for a visit and a discussion of our monthly rates.

Perhaps most importantly, because the Avalon is a state-licensed Assisted Living Program (ALP) facility, if a qualified resident runs out of money, housing and services will be 100% covered by the applicable benefits. Our staff will guide you through the process of applying for these benefits.

Are all Personal Care Services included?

Yes, all personal care services are included in the monthly fee at the Avalon, except telephone and the hair salon. Included is assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, shaving, transfers, ambulation and incontinence care, as well as monitoring vital signs and blood glucose levels.

Unlike some facilities, our certified aides are on staff and on duty 24/7. They are supervised by our own RN, insuring continuity of care.

Are all meals included?

Yes. At the Avalon, three full-menu meals are served daily in our community dining room, all under the supervision of a Registered Dietician. We also offer two snacks daily. In addition to a regular diet, we provide a No Concentrated Sweets Diet and a No Added Table Salt Diet. Based on a doctor’s order, we will also accommodate special diets, such as reduced calories and chopped or pureed food. We can also offer nutritional supplements for those who have a high caloric requirement.

We also provide assistance with meals, including cutting up food, encouraging meal completion and dietary compliance. Our staff is very observant of our residents and food intake management is a part of their oversight. For example, if a resident should lose or gain 5 lbs, it would be important for us to determine why that has happened and their doctor would be contacted.

Should a resident have a guest for dinner, we’re happy to accommodate them at no extra charge.

Are laundry and housekeeping services included?

Yes. Each resident’s room is cleaned daily, including straightening out, making beds, dusting, vacuuming and removing garbage.

A resident’s laundry is done weekly (unless soiled and requiring more frequency), and it is collected from the room, washed, dried, folded and put away.

Does Avalon provide transportation?

Avalon coordinates all transportation needed by our residents. We cover the cost for transportation that is connected with our regular group activities or outings. All other transportation (such as medical appointments) is usually funded through Medicaid or private pay.

What are the payment options?

To explain payment options, it’s important to understand that there are two parts to the cost of residing at a senior living facility. One is the room and board portion and the other is the medical portion (also called the assisted living portion).

Room and board can be paid with any of the following:

  •  Private funds
  •  Long-term care insurance (most policies pick up a portion of this cost)
  •  Supplemental Security Income (SSI), for those who qualify based on income and assets.This is a federal income supplement program for those who have little or no income.If you’re unsure about whether or not you qualify for SSI, please call us and we can provide you with guidance.
  • Social Security Administration (SSA), which is a qualifying individual’s monthly social security check
  • Pension payments
  • Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits for qualified wartime veterans and their spouses
  • Or any other means, except Medicaid or Medicare


The assisted living or medical portion of the cost can be paid with any of the following:

  • Private funds
  • Medicaid for those who qualify and who reside in an ALP (Assisted Living Program) licensed facility. See below for an explanation of ALP.

What is the Assisted Living Program (ALP)?

An ALP is a Medicaid-funded licensed program that provides personal care services to individuals in need. There are a limited number of senior care facilities that are licensed by the state to operate as Assisted Living Program residences. Avalon is an ALP facility.

ALP provides Medicaid funding for eligible residents to stay in their current care setting (the Avalon, for example) even as they begin to require more care and might normally need to move into a nursing home. Through ALP, the Avalon can provide services beyond what we generally provide to our assisted living residents and these services are funded by Medicaid. An ALP-licensed facility is the only senior residential care option that is covered by Medicaid.

Who is eligible for ALP?

Anyone who lives in an ALP-licensed facility such as the Avalon, whose financial resources have been exhausted and does not require the constant presence of nurses to make medical judgments or interventions is eligible. Certain financial and medical criteria have to be met to qualify for ALP but Avalon staff are expert guides through the process.

It is important to note that ALP residences such as the Avalon require a special state license and only state-licensed facilities can provide the ALP residential care option covered by Medicaid.

What happens if I run out of money?

The expert staff at the Avalon will assist you in applying for other sources of payment. These might include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security (SSA) and Medicaid.

Will I lose my room if I need to go to the hospital and/or a rehab facility?

No, you will not lose your room. With proper medical documentation, the Avalon will hold your bed for up to 90 days.

What hospitals do you refer to?

Normally, we refer residents to Vassar Brothers Medical Center or St. Francis Hospital. This is an individual choice made by the resident and their family upon admission.

How do I apply to become a resident of Avalon?

The best way to become an Avalon resident is to schedule a tour, and then you can sit down with an Avalon advisor to discuss your needs.

You can also click here to fill out a form that will introduce yourself to us. We will be happy to follow-up with you.