Ask Aviv Centers for Living

A caregiver and a resident at Aviv Centers for Living

The following are some common questions people ask about skilled nursing care and about Aviv Centers for Living. We're pleased to provide the answers below. If you have other questions regarding Aviv Centers for Living or any of our services, please contact us.

Where do we begin when looking for care options or assisted living facility?

Choosing a place to live or where to receive medical care and rehabilitation is not always easy. Here are some tips to help you select the best care environment for your loved one.

Discuss the type of services needed with a physician then ask if the doctor or hospital has a recommendation. You can also get recommendations from friends, neighbors and from others you trust.

Call the centers on your list and speak with their Directors of Admissions to ask questions and schedule a tour if you would like.

I'm not a medical professional, how will I know if the center I am choosing is the right one?

Here are some things to consider:

  • Inquire about the facility's state survey results. All facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs are surveyed annually to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. Results of this survey are available for your review.
  • Ask if the center participates in quality assurance programs. Is the facility Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations certified? These help benchmark the facility to national health and safety standards.
  • Many centers put out a calendar of the week's activities. Ask for one when you are visiting to see what a daily or weekly routine will be like.
  • In conversation with the facility, ask for references if you would like them.

How do you know when a loved one's current home is no longer the correct place for them to live?

It has been our experience that too many families wait until there is a crisis to consider assisted living or skilled nursing for their loved one. When a crisis happens, you may be unable to have the time to fully evaluate all available options.

Here are some signs it may be time to begin your evaluations:

Difficulty performing daily activities:

  • Wearing same clothes multiple days
  • Bathing less frequently - personal hygiene suffering
  • Not bothering to cook for one person, skipping meals
  • Laundry and housekeeping becoming a burden
  • Spends time in only a few rooms in the house

Memory loss:

  • Repeating questions or statements, multiple phone calls with the same questions
  • Wandering away from home
  • Trusting strangers, falling for scams, becoming the victim of elder abuse
  • Forgetting to do things they once did like paying bills and balancing the check book
  • Leaving the stove on, frequently misplacing items

Medication concerns:

  • Forgetting to take medications - resulting in missed dosages.
  • Taking more medication than required
  • Running out of medications
  • Not properly ordering medications from the pharmacy
  • A lot of expired medications around

Lack of Socialization:

  • Losing touch with friends and isolating themselves
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed such as going shopping
  • Showing signs of depression, for example sleeping a lot or crying
  • Loss of spouse, relatives and long-time friends


  • Becoming increasingly paranoid or fearful of others
  • Afraid to be alone at night
  • Becoming more dependent on family members
  • Feel neighborhood is not as safe as it used to be

Safety concerns:

  • Stairs and steps make it more likely to fall
  • No help nearby if fall or emergency occurs
  • Difficulty getting in and out of tub or on and off of toilet
  • Increase in 'stuff' around house causing fall risks

Who pays for skilled nursing care?

Payment source generally depends on the patient's condition and approval of 3rd party payers.

There are four main sources of payment.

Private Pay: Someone who uses their own funds to pay for their care. In this case, there is no need to get approvals from third party payers.

Insurance: There are a variety of insurance plans that may cover some or all nursing care charges. Some HMO, PPO, or point of service plans may cover skilled nursing care for rehabilitative services similar to Medicare coverage (see below). In general these plans will have time limits and/or payment amount limits. Long-term care insurance is a relatively new product, but may be available to cover longer stays in nursing homes.

Medicare: This federal health insurance program pays a maximum of 100 days of skilled nursing care, but eligibility is based strictly on medical need and is evaluated each step of the way. This means that a patient's condition could improve to the point that Medicare will no longer cover further care. We review each resident's eligibility benchmarked against the Medicare requirements. Our team has open communications with the residents and their families and meets regularly to discuss the Medicare benefit.

After Medicare eligibility runs out - either because the maximum 100 days has been reached or because the patient no longer qualifies for Medicare on the basis of medical need, an individual's long term care insurance, supplemental insurance or personal funds would then be responsible.

Medicaid: If an individual no longer qualifies for Medicare, has exhausted other financial resources and insurance, and has qualified for Medicaid, the Medicaid benefit can be accessed for longer term stays.

Because everyone has different needs and medical histories, it's very difficult to predict in advance exactly what payment methods might be available. For specific questions, please contact our admissions department and they would be happy to address your individual qualifications and needs.

Are there activities and programs available?

The Activities Department offers a planned program of on-going and meaningful activities to meet the diverse needs and interests of the residents of Aviv Centers for Living. The fundamental program objective is to promote opportunities for residents to engage in normal pursuits which stimulate a sense of physical, mental, and social well-being.

The Activities Department encourages community involvement through several avenues; we direct a volunteer program which utilizes the special skills of volunteers of all ages and diverse cultures. We engage in numerous outside activity programs and we invite family participation in internally scheduled activities both large and small.

Activities are individualized based on a resident's ability. We make sure that our activity choices are based on at least one of five components:

  • Spiritual
  • Cognitive
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Emotional

At Aviv, we encourage choice. Even if someone has limited ability, we always make sure they can make their own choices, from what activity to attend, to where they want to eat their breakfast to what color socks to wear. We want to make sure residents know they have control over these choices to keep them as independent as possible throughout their stay with us.

We also make sure the residents have access to activities in their own rooms, movies, books, magazines and knitting are just some of the activities we can bring in.

A couple times a week we have pet therapy, an activity adored by both residents and staff alike.

We celebrate holidays and birthdays with special activities throughout the year. Activities are offered throughout the day and evening hours, seven days a week.

With the opening of the Waldfogal Health Center and our partnership with the North Suburban JCC, we are also able to offer a myriad of intergenerational activities and opportunities. From watching the children play on the play structures in the courtyard, to taking a turn reading to the group, there are great opportunities to interact with the children on campus.