The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) defines an assisted living residence as a special combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet the needs - both scheduled and unscheduled - of those who need help with activities of daily living. This type of housing offers alternatives for older adults who may need help with dressing, bathing, eating, and toileting, but do not require the intensive medical and nursing care provided in nursing homes.
Assisted living facilities may be part of a retirement community, nursing home, senior housing complex, or may stand-alone. Licensing requirements for assisted living facilities vary by state and can be known by as many as 26 different names including: residential care, board and care, congregate care, and personal care. They may be operated by non-profit or for-profit companies. Most facilities have between 25 and 120 units. There is no single blueprint, because consumers' preferences and needs vary widely. Units may vary in size from one room to a full apartment.
We have seen a growth in popularity of the assisted living industry in recent years and it is believed that the industry will continue to grow.
In contrast to nursing homes, no federal quality standards exist for assisted living. Additionally, states vary significantly in their licensing requirements, quality standards, and monitoring and enforcement activities. In order to assist providers in meeting the demands of this growing industry we will offer links to industry updates, a monthly power point presentation that may be used to train facility staff and other helpful information.