Levels of Long-Term Care

This information is provided to help consumers make good choices for living arrangements for the elderly and disabled. The levels of institutional care in South Dakota include nursing facilities, assisted living centers, adult foster care homes, residential living centers, congregate housing, and community living homes. Home health services are also available.

  • Nursing facilities - licensed by the state; may be certified by Medicare and/or Medicaid. May admit and retain those who require nursing care by licensed nurses. Have a medical director and be staffed with licensed nurses. Visit Medicare's Nursing Home Compare site for a list of nursing facilities in South Dakota, along with recent survey information.

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  • Assisted living centers - licensed by the state to provide personal care and services beyond basic food, shelter, and laundry. May admit and retain only those who do not require more than intermittent nursing care by a licensed nurse. Licensure may include special approvals to offer 1) medication administrations, 2) care of the cognitively impaired, 3) care of the physically impaired, 4) oxygen administration, and 5) therapeutic diets (posted license indicates which approvals are granted. May provide home health agency services for short-term skilled services for a specific medical reason.
  • Adult foster care home - family residence licensed by the state where aged, blind, physically disabled, developmentally disabled, or socially emotionally disabled adults can obtain personal care, health supervision services, and household services in a family atmosphere.
  • Residential living centers - not licensed but required to register with the state to provide services, for compensation, for two or more elderly or disabled persons not related to the owner. May admit and retain persons who do not require more than meals, room, and daily living services.
  • Congregate housing - assisted independent living environment for elderly or handicapped persons who may be functionally impaired or socially deprived, but in good health (not acutely physically ill). Offers residential accommodations, central dining, and related facilities and support service(s) required to achieve, maintain or return to a semi-independent lifestyle and prevent premature or unnecessary institutionalization as the individual ages.
  • Home health agencies - certified by Medicare to provide nursing services in the home to persons who require intermittent nursing care. May also provide therapies and other treatments.
  • Community living home - any family-style residence whose owner or operator is engaged in the business of providing individualized and independent residential community living supports for compensation to at least one unrelated adult, but no more than four adults, and provides one or more regularly scheduled health-related services, either administered directly or in collaboration with an outside health care provider. The CLH is licensed by the state. This term does not include any setting which is certified or accredited through Chapter 34-20A, title 27A, or Title 27B.
  • Hospice -  an alternative way to care for terminally ill individuals, stressing palliative care (medical relief of pain), as opposed to curative or restorative care. Hospice care is not limited to medical care but also addresses all physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of the patient, as well as the emotional needs of the patient’s family. The emphasis of hospice programs is on keeping the patient at home with his or her family and friends as much as possible.