Assisted living regulations are not as well known or as prevalent as nursing home regulations. Assisted living facilities are regulated at a state level so that can mean that there is no consistency in regulations across states.
Thankfully, the American Health Care Association National Center for Assisted Living publishes an annual report that offers a state-by-state summary of assisted living regulations. It covers 21 categories, provides contact information for state agencies that oversee assisted living activities, and includes each agency's website address.
At least 18 states reported making statutory, regulatory, or policy changes in 2010 or January 2011 impacting assisted living/residential care communities. At least six states made major changes including Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.
Focal points of state-assisted living policy include
- life safety
- disclosure of information
- Alzheimer's/dementia standards
- medication management
- background checks
- regulatory enforcement
Other areas of change include move-in/move-out requirements, resident assessment, protection from exploitation, staff training, and tuberculosis testing standards.
The AHCA/NCAL publication not only serves as a good reference but by checking in on other states, you may get a glimpse of what might be coming down the pike for your state.