Almost all state Medicaid programs will cover some assisted living costs, although there may be a waiting list.Read more
Assisted Living Facility Rules Vary Widely From State to State
- June 8th, 2005
Consumers need to understand what they are getting before they choose an assisted living facility. A new report by the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) finds that there are no common standards for assisted living across the United States. The report, "Critical Issues in Assisted Living: Who's In, Who's Out, and Who's Providing the Care," found that assisted living can mean different things in different states. In some states assisted living facilities are comparable to nursing homes, in other states they are similar to rooming houses.
Some of the variations in laws from state to state include the following:
- Most states authorize facilities to evict residents when the facility's services do not meet a resident's needs. Facilities usually have discretion to determine whether the facility meets a resident's needs, which can result in early and late discharges.
- Staff training requirements vary widely from state to state. Nineteen states have hourly minimums for the training of direct-care workers. Five states require 12 or fewer hours of training, four states require from 13 to 24 hours, and 10 states require 25 or more hours.
- Many facilities do not have a medical staff. Only half of the states require facilities to employ or contract with a nurse. Even if the facility has a nurse, in most cases the nurse is rarely at the facility.
- There is a trend toward letting non-medical personnel administer medicine. In 28 states, assisted living employees with limited training can administer medication. In nursing homes, only licensed or registered nurses can do so.
"In shopping for assisted living, consumers need to have their eyes wide open, and be prepared to ask hard questions about what 'assisted living' includes," according to the author of the report, NSCLC attorney Eric Carlson.
To see the full report, including a breakdown of assisted living facility laws by state, click here.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Loretta Morris Williams is a certified elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Ms. Williams was admitted to the Council of Advanced Practitioners, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in 2012. She serves as President of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Ms. Willia...
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...
Hammond and Associates, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate
For Jeffrey Hammond, the practice of Elder Law is personal. Jeff’s many years of experience in law and in business did not prepare him for the crisis he faced in 2005 and 2006 when his father suffered a stroke and both of his parents suffered from dementia and other medical problems. At that time, Jeff began an i...