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Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)

Assisted living facilities (ALFs) are residential care facilities that provide housing, meals, personal care and supportive services to older persons and disabled adults who are unable to live independently. ALFs are intended to be a less costly alternative to more restrictive, institutional settings for individuals who do not require 24-hour nursing supervision. ALFs are regulated in a manner so as to encourage dignity, individuality, and choice for residents, while providing reasonable assurance for their safety and welfare.

To reside in a standard ALF, a person must meet the standard ALF "residency criteria," which is defined by Florida regulations and by facility policy. Generally speaking, ALFs provide supervision, assistance with personal and supportive services, and assistance with or administration of medications to elders and disabled adults who require such services.

In addition to a standard ALF license, there are 3 “specialty” licenses:

    • Extended congregate care (ECC),
    • Limited nursing services (LNS), and
    • Limited mental health (LMH).

An ALF holding an extended congregate care (ECC) license may provide additional nursing services and total assistance with personal care services. Residents living in ECC-licensed facilities may have higher impairment levels than those living in a standard ALF. Residents living in an ALF holding a LNS or LMH license must meet the same residency criteria as a standard-licensed ALF.

Regardless of the facility's license status, residents living in ALFs cannot have conditions that require 24-hour nursing supervision. The only exception is for an existing resident who is receiving licensed hospice services while residing in the ALF.

While ALFs generally cost less than nursing facilities, the cost of an ALF varies greatly depending on the location, residential unit size, amenities, and services provided by the facility. Although the majority of residents living in ALFs pay privately, there are programs designed to assist with assisted living residency for those who qualify.

ALF Core Training

All ALF administrators are required to take the ALF Core Training Course and pass a Competency Test. The course must be taken from an ALF Core Training Provider registered with the Department. Information about the Competency Test is available from http://anchin.coedu.usf.edu/alf/.

Note: The fee for the Competency Test will increase to $200 effective May 1, 2012.

Facilities that advertise that they provide special care for persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders or that maintain secured areas in the facility are required to be trained by an approved trainer using an approved curriculum. More information is available from www.trainingonaging.usf.edu.

ALF License Information

The Agency for Health Care Administration's Assisted Living Unit licenses and inspects ALFs. To obtain an assisted living facility license application package, please contact:

Agency for Health Care Administration
Assisted Living Unit

2727 Mahan Drive
Tallahassee, Fl 32308
Phone: 850-412-4304
Website:  http://ahca.myflorida.com/MCHQ/Health_Facility_Regulation/Assisted_Living/alf.shtml

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