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What are the Qualifications for Staff?

Each state has different staffing qualification requirements. Typically an assisted living administrator must take a 40-hour certification program, pass a simple state exam, and obtain 40 hours of continuing education every two years. Staff must receive at least 10 hours of training at the facility within 4 weeks of employment, and at least 4 hours annually thereafter. For facilities advertising dementia care, 6 hours of orientation specific to dementia care within the first 4 weeks and at least 8 hours annually of in-service training. Read more about assisted living staff and adminstrators.

Qualifications: Administrators must be 21 years of age and possess a high school diploma or equivalent for facilities of 15 beds or less. For facilities of 16 to 49 beds, the administrator needs 15 college credits; and for facilities of 50+ beds, 2 years of college or 3 years' experience, or equivalent education and experience. Staff must only be 18 years of age and pass the criminal background check. Because ALFs are non-medical facilities, there is no requirement for RNs, LVNs or CNAs or any medically trained personnel. Check with the facility on the qualifications of the current administrator and key staff.

What if the Resident's Medical Needs Change?

Assisted living facilities receive no "medical" licensing, and persons requiring tube feeding, treatment of open bedsores or in need of 24-hour nursing care are not permitted to reside there. A few number of assisted living facilities have permits to care for residents on hospice. And some assisted living facilities have "campuses" with skilled nursing buildings or wings or beds available to provide more hands-on skilled nursing care.

Some facilities offer specialized services to persons with dementia if they meet certain licensing requirements. Make sure that the facility has experience in providing dementia care and meets all of the state licensing standards to provide dementia care.

Residents with temporary incapacities due to illness or injury can stay there or return from a rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility or hospital if it offers appropriate services for care.

The newer facilities built today, emphasize ease of use for disabled people. The design of the bathrooms and kitchens meets the needs of residents in wheelchairs and using walkers. The hallways are extra-wide to accommodate the needed equipment and the codes are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).