Assisted Living Licensing

assisted living licensingEnsuring that assisted living for the elderly is safe and effective.

When your loved one enters assisted living for the elderly, she is placing a significant amount of trust in the administration and staff of the establishment. Because seniors often depend on caregivers for personal necessities and health-related services, their very lives depend on the level of care they receive. Federal and state assisted living licensing was developed to protect the welfare of people in assisted living situations.

Why Does the U.S. License Assisted Living for the Elderly?

Assisted living licensing provides a measure of protection for a subsection of people who are sometimes unable to protect themselves. Licensed assisted living facilities are subject to regular state inspections and oversight. Applying for assisted living certification involves a process put in place to dissuade ill-equipped or deceitful businesses from offering senior care services. States reward only those who are committed to cleanliness, safety and good practices.

General Assisted Living Licensing Information

Assisted living certification is available for administrators as well as establishments. All 50 states currently mandate that skilled nursing facilities are run by licensed administrators, but not all states require assisted living administrators to get certified. This is particularly true for small, home-based providers.

It is important that assisted living for the elderly be certified. Without regular inspection and oversight, even well-intentioned staff can get sloppy. Even if you like what you see at an unlicensed facility, remember that dedicated caretakers will take the extra steps to complete their state-mandated assisted living certification. For information on specific state assisted living licensing requirements, find your state or city in our Assisted Living Facilities Near You section.

How Can I Tell a Facility is Licensed?

All Assisted Living Homes connects you with only licensed senior care options, for your safety and satisfaction. But you can locate state-specific assisted living certification information at each state’s nursing home survey agency. Facilities that provide assisted living for the elderly also often display their certification and credentials in a prominent place, such as the entryway or main lobby.

If you need further information on assisted living licensing at a particular senior care facility, you can find government ratings from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Nursing Home Compare database at And as always, be discerning when choosing a senior home. Not all licensed facilities will be right for you. Take care as you research and visit potential homes for your loved one. Visit our Tips for Choosing an Assisted Living Facility for more help.

Start your free search for licensed assisted living care by speaking with an elder care specialist today. Simply call the toll-free number at the top of the page, and an unbiased senior care advisor will happily assist you in your search.