Assisted Living Business Starter Kit
America's increased aging populations means new businesses and institutions are springing up to support elders through their later years. As the elderly reach a point where functioning independently at home is no longer safe or desirable, but where they are not infirm and do not need nursing and medical care, many turn to assisted living facilities. Assisted living offers seniors their own room or even apartment with caregivers, nursing assistants and nurses on hand to help with residents' tasks and limitations. While assisted living facilities are not medical facilities, they are regulated for safety and require a government approval process.
Secure financing enough to design, build and initially operate your intended assisted nursing facility. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers guaranteed loans for building new facilities.
Purchase real estate whose zoning would allow for an assisted living facility. You will need the services of a commercial real estate who knows something about health care properties. Rent a home or partner with a landlord.
Apply to your city or county for a permit to build your assisted living. Besides completing applications available through your municipality's land use office, your will need to submit designs and possibly a business plan. Many local governments will call you in to a council or board of supervisors meeting to discuss your plans and their impact on the area before you receive approval. You may also be asked to make modifications to your designs.
Apply to your state department of health and social services for a permit to operate an assisted living facility. The state may ask for modifications to your facility and safety inspections before it will give approval.
Get a city or county business license. Just because your facility is state licensed doesn't mean the local government won't require a permit. You can find information on your city or county's website.
Purchase your beds and furnishings. Your state permit will specify how many beds you are allowed to operate, so stay within your limits. Complete all decor and finishing touches. find a discount furniture store like Price Busters and ask for a discount since you are purchasing bulk furniture.
Purchase liability and workers' compensation insurance. Because you have a responsibility for the welfare and care of your residents and have health providers on staff, you have significant legal exposure.
Hire a state licensed assisted living facility administrator. Administrators usually license through the state department of health and human services or department of health. Check candidates' licenses and backgrounds before proceeding. This person will be the person managing your facility and who will be largely responsible for your successes and failures. Interview and screen very thoroughly.
Interview and hire a marketing director to solicit residents and begin filling your facility. It may take this person some time to begin making the connections in the medical and senior services communities to get you initial residents. So hire early and allow some time.
Hire nurses, nursing assistants, caregivers, kitchen staff and other personnel needed to operate your assisted living. Interview your clinical staff carefully and again, check backgrounds and licenses to make sure you are getting good people. Consult your state's nursing practice laws on the registered nurse to nursing assistant supervision ratios and requirements, and staff to at least that standard, if not better.
Begin admitting residents and operating. Make sure to get referrals from residents and their families to solicit more residents. People can sometimes entice friends and neighbors to join their assisted living communities.