About Assisted Living

Assisted living is a residential setting that encourages dignity, independence and choice for individuals who need housing and supportive services but who do not require 24-hour nursing supervision.

Services provided in assisted living residences usually include, three meals a day served in a common dining area; housekeeping services; transportation; assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and walking; 24 hour security and staff availability; emergency alert and call systems; health promotion, exercise and activities programs; medication management; personal laundry services; social and recreational activities.

Costs vary with the residence, room size, and the types of services needed by each resident. Across the nation daily basic fees range from approximately $70 to $100 - generally less than the cost of home health services and nursing home care. A basic assisted living fee may cover all services or there may be additional charges for special services. Most facilities charge month-to-month rates, but a few residences require long term arrangements.

While assisted living is mostly private pay there are some other funding options available.  Depending on the nature of the individual's health insurance program or long term care insurance policy, costs may be reimbursed. In addition, some residences have their own financial assistance programs. In Florida, financial assistance is available through several programs.  For more information on these programs, click here.

Currently, more than a million Americans living in an estimated 30,000 assisted living residences across the country.  These residents can be young or old, affluent or low income, frail or disabled.  A typical resident is age 84 or older, is female, and is either widowed or single.  To reside in an assisted living facility, a person must meet the standard ALF "residency criteria" which is defined by Florida regulations and by facility policy.  In general, ALFs provide supervision, assistance with personal care services (i.e., bathing, dressing, eating, etc.) and assistance with or administration of medications.  Residents living in ALFs cannot have conditions that require 24-hour nursing supervision.  The only exception to this rule is for an existing resident who qualifies for and receives hospice services from a licensed hospice while continuing to reside in an ALF.

Assisted living is regulated by each state.  In Florida, assisted living facilities (ALFs) are licensed and regulated by the Agency for Health Care Administration.  Administrators are required to be certified by completing a week long training and successful completion of a state competency exam.  In addition, they must complete continuing education requirements.  Direct care staff is required to complete specific training upon hire and recieve updated training each year.  ALFs must comply with state and local building codes, fire safety regulations and Department of Health regulations. 

For more information about licensing an ALF, visit the AHCA Assisted Living Unit web page.