Assisted Living in Florida

State Information

Facts and Figures about Florida
Population: 20,612,439
Capital: Tallahassee
Largest City: Jacksonville

Florida offers a ton of entertainment and cuisine, beautiful weather, a rich tapestry of different people and things to do, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s a popular place to retire and to live out your later years, and for good reason. The cost of living is above the national average, and so is crime in certain areas, but if you do your research and find a nice place, it can be absolutely perfect.

From Jacksonville, to Tampa, to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and the rest of the State, there are a lot of options to choose from, so let’s go over the basics in order to help you make an informed care decision. First, we’ll cover some quick facts about Florida, then we’ll get into what separates it from other states when it comes to senior care, memory care, and assisted living in general.

Quick Facts about Florida

The average cost of assisted living in Florida is $3,562, and there are over a thousand different facilities to choose from across the state, offering a variety of types of care based on the needs of their residents.

In terms of total land area, Florida is ranked 22nd with just over 65,000 square miles. When it comes to population, Florida’s very diverse population ranks in 3rd place with over 20 million total residents in the state based on an estimate from 2016.

The Sunshine State is a very popular place for people to retire, so they put a lot of effort into their senior care, along with other types of assisted living, as the demand is high. People don’t just travel from around the United States to retire in Florida, they come from all around North America and even further.

The median household income in Florida is $48,825, which ranks them in 41st place, which shows that despite a large population, there are many people in Florida who are struggling financially and may have difficulty paying the average cost of assisted living. We’ll go over Medicaid information at the end of this page.

Types of Assisted Living in State

Florida facilities offer help with things including activities of daily living (Shortened to ADL, in case you see that phrase elsewhere), which includes support from nurses for more vulnerable residents pending additional licensing requirements for the facility. Furthermore, if the facility has a license to provide help with mental care, they’re able to assist lower-income residents with chronic mental illness conditions.

Beyond that, they help with all of the basics things that you would expect like personal services, hygiene, laundry, room and board, meals, and medication. There are some conditions with mediation support, which we’ll cover in a few moments.

Requirements for Moving in or Moving Out

Initial assessment information: An assessment from a registered nurse or a physician is required. This initial examination includes a medical report that needs to be recorded on a special form. The facility or medical professionals can help you with this.

A facility can not admit a resident for whom they cannot meet their needs, which makes sense logically and is a standard practice across the board. If the facility can not meet the daily needs of the resident, the resident will need  to look for a place that can, which often includes more advanced types of care. Here are some of the conditions or situations that could exclude somebody from being admitted:

  • If they display violent behavior and could be dangerous to themselves or other residents, they’ll need to look into a specialized program,
  • If they have pressure sores above stage II,
  • If they cannot participate in basis social interactions and activities for any number of reasons,
  • If they required around the clock care from a skilled nurse.

There could be other factors, as well. They’re trying to foster communities where people can relax and enjoy their lives, and a particularly volatile resident who needs extensive care and support would be better suited in a place that is designed for that, with staff who are better equipped to handle those types of situations.

General Information About Care

Bathroom requirements: The requirements for restrooms in Florida are on the lower-end, which isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t mean facilities can’t go above and beyond on their own. The minimum requirement is that there must be 1 rub or shower for every 8 residents, and one toilet and sink for every 6.

Medication handling: Workers and care givers in a facility require licensing in order to be able to help residents to administer their own medication. This licensing takes four hours of training, along with an additional two hours each year. Even when it comes to over the counter medication, it requires oversight by a registered nurse or someone in a similar role.

Fire and Safety information: If a facility has more than 17 beds in it, they are required by law to have a debibrillator on-site and somebody who knows how to use it in the event of a cardiac arrest. Sprinkers aren’t necessarily required for older buildings, however new facilities must have a sprinker system, along with any facilities that undergo and big renovations or have additions added to them.

Staff Training and Requirements

The amount of training for care givers in Florida depends on the type of work that one will be doing, along with any previous experience they may have, and what their role is at the facility. Staff members will need 1-3 hours of training during their first 30 days of employment, and nurses along with those working with patients that require memory care have additional standards they must meet.

Medicaid for Assisted Living in State and Additional Information

There is a Medicaid waiver available for lower-income residents of Florida, with a few different opportunities to receive support. We recommend reaching out to the Agency for Health Care Administration in Florida for more information and to see if you or your loved one qualifies for help and support for care.