The oldest Baby Boomers reached retirement age on January 1, 2011. This will raise the pool of possible residents for assisted living facilities throughout the country. In Miami-Dade County, Florida, the city of Miami has 61,372 residents age 65 or older as of January 2011, according to the Assisted Living Directory. This makes it a primary spot for assisted living facilities, which provide personal care to older individuals.
Write a business plan for your assisted living facility. Obtain financing through a bank or Federal Housing Authority loan. Determine the number of licensed beds the business will provide, the medical and personal supplies needed, food service and other factors. Most facilities offer minor health and hygiene care while others have on-site medical care for serious ailments like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s Disease. Consider safety and evacuation procedures in case of a hurricane. Owners of assisted living facilities in Miami-Dade County must prove compliance with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), pass an annual fire inspection and secure a Life Safety Operating Permit to ensure the protection of residents in case of an emergency.
Choose a location. Study neighborhoods with a large population of retiring or elderly people. According to the Vida Americana website, many Miami-Dade County seniors live in Sunny Isles and Miami Beach. Look for buildings for lease, preferably former medical facilities. Consider the space needed for bedrooms, social activity rooms, medical care and facility offices. If constructing a new facility better suits your business plan, contact the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration about zoning laws for residential assisted living facilities before breaking ground. Fill out the Community Residential Home Affidavit of Compliance with Chapter 419 to prove that the facility is licensed and meets zoning requirements (see Resources).
Follow the Assisted Living Facility (ALF) Guidelines from the AHCA. They provide a checklist of regulations, rules and necessary procedures that assisted living facilities must observe in the state of Florida. The guideline sections include facility records, general license standards, fiscal standards, medication standards, resident care standards and staffing standards. Fill out an ALF application packet, including the Assisted Living Recommended Application Form, a local zoning form and the ALF Notification of Change of Administrator form.
Take a background screening. According to Florida statute, section 408.809, a facility licensee must undergo a Level II FBI security screening before opening an assisted living home. Submit an electronic request for a fingerprint check online through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and pay a fee for a LiveScan (electronic fingerprinting) service. The LiveScan vendor can travel to your office, or you can go to one of its locations to take the screening. Results are then made available on the Florida Agency for Heath Care Administration website.
Pass the Florida state Assisted Living Facility Core Competency Exam. A satisfactory grade on this exam is required for all ALF managers in the state of Florida before they can legally run a ALF. Attend a training program sponsored by the Florida Assisted Living Association or another accredited organization. Administrators will learn about such subjects as new state regulations, adverse incidents reporting and risk management.
- FAHCA: Community Residential Home Affidavit of Compliance with Chapter 419
- Florida Assisted Living: Florida Assisted Living News
- Assisted Living Directories: Facilities in Miami, Florida
- Florida Assisted Living Association: ALF Core Training
- Public News Service: Wave of Baby Boomers Should Not Overwhelm Social Security
- VidaAmericana: Miami Neighborhoods: Residents Guide to Miami Beach and Coral Gables
Marianne Moro is a copywriter and journalist based in Hollywood. She has been writing professionally since 1999, specializing in home remodeling, interior decorating, pets, travel and holistic health. Moro was a part-time editor and contributing writer for Remodeleze.com, a home remodeling and decorating website, and has also contributed to the Cutting Chair and Entertainment Today.