About Assisted Living in Florida

The combination of warm weather and sandy beaches as well as no state income tax has quite the draw on the retirement crowd. However, with a high cost of living (above the national average) and a significant crime rate in some areas, you might want to consider your options before relocating to the “Sunshine State”.

What Options are Available for Assisted Living?

In the state of Florida assisted living facilities not only provide housing and meals, but they also provide personal services, including assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and self-administration of medication.

All new assisted living facilities must have an automatic fire sprinkler system. If a facility undergoes any major reconstruction or addition, the whole building must be equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler system. All assisted living facilities with more than 17 beds are required to have an automated defibrillator.

What are the Alzheimer’s Requirements for Assisted Living Facilities in Florida?

Assisted living facilities that advertise Alzheimer’s care must have a physical environment that provides for the safety and welfare of residents, as well as offers activities and provides a 24-hour staff that has completed an 8-hour approved training course and 4-hours yearly continued education.

Senior Assisted Living Details and Costs for Cities in Florida

Found below are some of the larger cities in Florida. Each city details page provides details on assisted living housing, independent living, senior apartments and homes, as well as Alzheimer's care facilities. City pages may include details on amenities, services offered among other information.

What Training is Required for Assisted Living Facility Staff?

Direct care staff who have not taken the proper core training program must receive a minimum of 1 hour in-service training within the first 30 days of employment. Direct care staff other than nurses, certified assistants, and home health aides, must receive 3 hours in-service training within the first 30 days of employment, including infection control, sanitation procedures, reporting major and adverse incidents, emergency procedures, resident rights, reporting abuse, behavior and needs, assistance with ADLs, safe food handling, elopement response policies and procedures, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, CPR and First Aid, and Do Not Resuscitate Orders.

Is an Assessment Required Before Move-In?

Residents must be examined by a physician or RN and complete a medical examination report, and this information must be recorded on the Resident Health Assessment form (AHCA Form 1823(pdf)).

What Care is Available in an Assisted Living Facility?

  • Assistance with personal services, including medications.
  • Extensive ADL (activities of daily living) assistance and nursing care for frail residents (if the facility holds an extended congregate care license.)
  • Assist low-income, chronically mentally ill residents (if the facility holds a limited mental health license.)

If a resident requires care or services from a 3rd party provider the facility administrator must facilitate the services as well as coordinate with the provider to meet resident goals, unless the assistance is declined by the resident.

How is Medication Managed?

Only licensed staff may help with self-administered medication. To become licensed to provide assistance the staff member must complete 4 hours of medication assisting training and 2 hours of training each year training instruction must be given by an RN, licensed pharmacist, or department staff. A licensed health care provider’s order is required for a licensed nurse to provide assistance with self-administration and administration of medication, including over-the-counter medications.

What are the Bathroom Requirements for an Assisted Living Facility?

The facility must provide 1 sink and toilet for every 6 residents, and 1 bathtub or shower for every 8.

What are the Move-In or Move-Out Requirements?

Assisted living facilities can only admit residents whose needs can be met by the facility and who are able to perform ADLs with supervision or assistance. They may not admit or retain residents who:

  • Require 24 hour nursing care.
  • Have stage II, III, or IV pressure sores.
  • Are unable to participate in social activities.
  • Display violent behavior.

If a resident is unable to meet the admission criteria or is bedridden for more than 7 days, he or she must be discharged. A resident must also receive a face-to-face medical exam every 3 years to determine if continued residency is appropriate.

Is an Assisted Living Facility Covered by Medicaid in the State of Florida?

Low-income residents’ services are covered by a Medicaid home and community-based services waiver and the Medicaid Assistive Care Services program under the Medicaid state plan.

Who can I contact for more information?

Agency for Health Care Administration
Shaddrick A. Haston, Esq.
(850) 412-4304