How to Develop an Independent Living Facility

by Lindsay Pietroluongo; Updated September 26, 2017
The elderly benefit from independent living facilities.

Independent living facilities are provided for disabled or elderly people who are able to care for themselves with extra help. Unlike rehabilitation programs, assisted living facilities don’t expect their residents to change. Instead, the living environment is adapted in order to cater to residents’ needs. Services that are provided by independent living facilities include transportation and administering medications. Entrepreneurs can thrive by opening an independent living facility in the United States, and you’ll have the added benefit of knowing that you’re doing something good for society.

Step 1

Determine the best structure for your new business. Assisted living facilities tend to choose the LLC structure. This type of structure protects you from being personally responsible for accidents, such as slips and falls. Your personal finances aren’t at risk; the only money that you’re gambling with is the money that you devote to the company. Each location should have its own LLC set up.

Step 2

Write up your business plan. Decide how many residents you’ll care for, which disabilities you’ll be willing to take in and provide services for, and how much staff you’ll need. Also, determine the skills and training that your staff will need to possess. Plan to spend approximately $140,000 per room in your facility for startup. Costs include expenditures for purchasing the land, designing and constructing your facility and furnishing the home, plus sales and marketing cost. You’ll most likely have to take out a loan at a bank to afford the initial costs.

Step 3

Attain the necessary licensing. Register your business and receive a federal tax identification number. In order to get a permit, some states will require a proposal for your facility, demonstrating your community’s need for the addition. You’ll need to include a market study with this proposal. Contact your local business department for details about your area’s zoning laws; they’ll vary by county. Schedule an initial inspection with the health department and fire department. Independent living facilities have their own set of guidelines to follow that are separate from other businesses that are starting up. Also, these guidelines vary by location, so what stands for one county may not fornanother county or town.

Step 4

Choose technology software that will keep you on top of everything from your finances to resident needs, schedules and medications.

Step 5

Add services that most other independent living facilities don’t have. Spruce up a basic menu with gourmet meal options. Offer interesting classes to residents, like painting or music. This business isn’t for people who aren’t interested in helping others. Running an independent living facility is a demanding job that requires a lot of patience and a caring personality. Part of this is making sure that residents are comfortable, provided for and happy.

Tips

  • When planning your business, consider the type of facility where you’d want a loved one to live. Try to base your business plans around this.

    As the Baby Boomer generation gets older, the population of elderly people in the United States will increase and the need for independent living facilities will grow.

About the Author

As a full-time writer in New York's Hudson Valley, Lindsay Pietroluongo's nightlife column and photos have appeared regularly in the "Poughkeepsie Journal" since 2007. Additional publications include "Chronogram," the "New Paltz Sojourn," "About Town" newspaper and "Outsider" magazine. Pietroluongo graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in English.

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