Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Start an Assisted Living Facility

Seniors who enter an assisted living facility do so because they have difficulty taking care of themselves, but don't require full time nursing care. They may need help with everyday chores such as dressing, bathing, eating and using the toilet. In the assisted living facility, the senior has the freedom to walk about and leave the facility if he/she should so desire. It's rather expensive to live in an assisted living facility, but not as expensive as living in a nursing home [source: NLM]. Starting an assisted living facility is not easy and requires a large cash outlay. Read on to find out how to start an assisted living facility.

  1. Secure the proper financing for this major project. Remember, you will probably have to buy land and build a building.
  2. Contact a commercial real estate agent who's familiar with the local zoning laws and knows about assisted living facilities.
  3. Hire an engineer and architect to design the facility. Make sure they know all the rules and regulations pertaining to such a facility. They must design every aspect according to the legal code. If you want to attract customers, you must design a very attractive place with every convenience.
  4. Apply for all the state and local building permits.
  5. Hire an experienced contractor and builder. Make sure all the materials they use meet all federal and state standards.
  6. Get the necessary licenses in order to operate your facility, including a local town license, if necessary. This is often done while the building is going on.
  7. Purchase all the furniture you will need.
  8. Hire the right professional staff. Make sure your staff is licensed, friendly, and courteous.
  9. Hold an open house, so people can come and see the facility. Word of mouth is the best advertisement [sources: Utah, Florida].