According to the National Center for Assisted Living’s 2016 “Assisted Living State Regulatory Review,” released Thursday, about half of the states updated regulations regarding senior living communities.
For every state and the District of Columbia, this report includes information on topics such as which state agency licenses assisted living, recent legislative and regulatory updates affecting assisted living, and requirements for resident agreements, admission and discharge requirements, units serving people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, staffing, and training. States use several different terms to refer to assisted living, such as residential care and shared housing.
This report includes requirements for those types of communities that offer seniors housing, supportive services, personalized assistance with ADLs, and some level of health care. More than half the states reported no recent regulatory changes affecting assisted living. Specifically, twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported no substantive changes to statutes or regulations between January 2015 and June 2016 that affected assisted living communities. Twenty-three states reported some change to requirements during that time period. Those states that did make changes reported a variety of types of requirements that were affected. This indicates that assisted living providers and states are focused on a range of issues.
Staffing and training, dementia care, and medication management were the most common policy areas addressed by states. Most of the changes were targeted, and only a few states made significant, broad changes to their regulations affecting assisted living. Over time, states are generally increasing the regulatory requirements for assisted living communities.
Nine states reported that proposed regulations for assisted living communities are being reviewed for an update: California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wyoming. California and Florida’s regulations are being updated to reflect legislative changes that have already been enacted. Eight states—California, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and South Carolina—reported changes to requirements for staffing and training, three of which were for dementia-specific training.