An important factor considered by many when choosing an Assisted Living Home for their seniors is whether or not the facility is licensed and complies with government regulations. Assisted Living Homes are not regulated by the federal government the way Nursing Homes are.
Each state in the country sets and follows its own regulations and licensing standards, even in terms of the frequency of compliance audits conducted and the sizes of rooms. In this respect, the RAL National Association helps and guides you towards meeting the regulatory requirements as laid out by every state.
In some states, Senior Housing Communities that provide only housing, housekeeping and meals do not require to obtain a license.
Most states list assistance with activities of daily living, housekeeping, meals and assessments as minimum essential services that a Senior Living Facility must provide.
Some states include services such as shopping trips, and help with doctor appointments and money management to the list of minimum requirements.
In some states, at least 25 hours of training for caregiving staff is a must, while some states have no minimum training requirements.
Some states require a minimum resident-to-caregiver ratio.
The rights of the residents and the rights of the RAL business owners also differ from state to state.
More than half of the states (29 of them) changed their regulations and policies for Assisted Living Homes between June 2017 and June 2018.
Most changes in regulation were related to staffing, particularly minimum training and background check requirements.
Florida, New Hampshire and North Carolina made changes to minimum administrator qualifications or training.
Oklahoma now requires special training for caregivers on Alzheimer’s and dementia-related care.
Louisiana mandated an evaluation of whether the caregivers are competent to provide assistance with activities of daily living.
The truth is that each new regulation that is introduced by a state means additional expenses for the RAL business owners. This translates to higher charges for the residents. We at RAL National Association are your voice in every state. We provide strategic support for you to help educate regulators about the needs of RAL business owners and residents. RALNA follows relevant activity and participates in regulatory policy-making decisions that affect Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Care Homes.
Our RALNA legal team is participating in the drafting committee to revise the residential care facility design guidelines, helping to shape the rules and maintaining a voice for small assisted living communities and pressing the issues & considerations for small senior care homes. These efforts help ensure that states set appropriate regulations that allow the option for seniors to choose a smaller living environment that we recognize as safer and healthier.
Our newsletter and website keep you apprised of significant changes in State Laws that might affect your RAL business.
We assist you with passing regulatory issues you might face.
We can help you respond and adapt quickly to any changes in regulatory requirements.
We provide a clear understanding of what significant changes in the law could mean for your business.
We proudly represent our members and help you get the most relevant information while cutting out the excess noise.
"We have loved being a part of the Residential Assisted Living National Association. We became members shortly after starting our journey into RAL in Minnesota. Michelle and Brian have both been an amazing resource and team. The videos Michelle produced helped us become educated on everything from zoning to regulatory language to understanding the Fair Housing Act. We were able to go directly to our counties and use the tools we had learned from RALNA. Their continued help and guidance have been key to overcoming obstacles. If you are serious about helping others and opening up RAL in your area, this association is a must. Thank you so much for all your help."
"Kudos to Michelle Pinkowski. Her 7-part video series on zoning hacks and how to get the best location for your RAL home just saved me a lot of headaches, and perhaps a lot of money as well. Looking at my local zoning ordinances, maps, and endless webpages of chapters, sections, and sub-sections I was overwhelmed, to say the least. I was frustrated after finding a lot, but then thinking RAL was not allowed in the zone it was in. Then I went through Michelle's videos where she laid out in small digestible chunks exactly how to navigate the ordinances quickly and efficiently. The longest video was just a little over 20 minutes. In the videos, Michelle spoke about a complex subject in layman's terms which made it easy to follow and grasp the concepts. I learned where to find zoning information, what to look for, and how to understand the basic zoning regulations. I learned how to read zoning tables and look up definitions. That's when I discovered that in my county, the planners defined "Assisted Living" and "Group Homes" separately. Before her course, I was only looking at "Assisted Living." After reviewing her course, it was obvious that this term (in my jurisdiction) was only applicable to the big box facilities and not to what I wanted to do. My RAL home would fall under the "Group Homes" definition. This was a huge difference because where "Assisted Living" was not allowed in most zones except through a Special Use Permit, "Group Homes" on the other hand were allowed "by right" in nearly all zones. I was one happy camper 🙂 I'm not home free yet, but I just got past a major first hurdle thanks to Michelle's video course. Michelle has provided a valuable resource that I think all aspiring RAL homeowners should check out if you're serious about overcoming perhaps the most challenging aspects of starting a RAL home, and that is getting through zoning."
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