Assisted living facilities are regulated on a state level, so communities in Jacksonville are governed by the same rules and regulations as other assisted living communities in Florida.
Assisted living definition and scope of care in Florida
According to the NCAL’s 2022 State Regulatory Review, Florida defined assisted living as “designed to provide personal care services in the least restrictive and home-like environment.
These facilities can range in size from one resident to several hundred and may offer a wide variety of personal and nursing services designed specifically to meet an individual’s personal needs.”
The scope of care for services provided in assisted living facilities in Jacksonville and the rest of Florida dictates the following:
- Care and services must be appropriate to the needs of older adults accepted for admission to the community.
- Personal supervision and supervision or assistance with activities of daily living must be provided by facility staff.
- Additional services provided by assisted living communities in Florida include social activities, assistance with making and getting to appointments, and as-needed nursing services.
Assisted living requirements for Jacksonville residents
In order to provide quality, consistent care for each resident, assisted living communities must have guidelines about which residents they accept.
The NCAL shared requirements for residents of assisted living facilities in Jacksonville and the rest of Florida. Assisted living residents must be:
- Free of communicable diseases likely to be transmitted to other residents
- Able to perform activities of daily living, with supervision or assistance if necessary
- Able to transfer to bed or a chair and back again, with assistance if necessary
- Capable of taking medication, either on their own or with the assistance of staff
Older adults requiring 24-hour licensed professional mental health treatment are not eligible for admission, nor are people with stage three or four pressure sores, feeding tubes, or other conditions requiring ongoing skilled nursing care.
Assisted living residents must undergo an assessment up to 60 days prior to their admission, or within 30 days of their admission. Either a physician or an advanced registered nurse practitioner will perform the standardized health assessment to ensure the resident’s needs can be met in the assisted living community they chose.
It’s important to know residents of Florida assisted living facilities can be discharged if they no longer meet the admission criteria or if they are bedridden for more than seven days. Talk to staff at the communities you tour about their specific admission criteria, so you’re prepared for potential discharge if your needs change.
Jacksonville assisted living staff requirements
Minimum staffing ratios help to determine the minimum number of hours qualified staff members must work in order for a community to run smoothly and safely. Currently, just 12 states require minimum staffing ratios for assisted living facilities, including Florida.
According to the NCAL, Florida staffing requirements specify a facility must be under the supervision of a trained administrator and “staffing must be sufficient to meet residents’ needs.” Specific minimum staffing ratio requirements vary based on the number of residents. For example, a total of 375 staff hours would be required each week for a community with 46–55 residents, or about nine full-time staff members and one part-time staff member.
Minimum staffing ratios are helpful in safeguarding the care of assisted living residents, but you should still ask the communities you tour about their staff-to-resident ratio. A report by the Long Term Care Community Coalition recommended a ratio of at least one staff member to every 15 residents in a multi-floor facility.
Reporting and preventing elder abuse in Jacksonville
Though it’s difficult to think about, caregivers must recognize the risks of elder abuse occurring in assisted living facilities. Elder abuse can take the form of caregiver neglect, financial fraud and exploitation, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or physical abuse. If you believe elder abuse is occurring in a Jacksonville assisted living community, make an elder abuse report.
To help prevent abuse or neglect in Jacksonville assisted living communities, familiarize yourself with Florida’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.