When it comes to looking for an assisted living community for your loved one, one of the things to take into consideration is a facility’s license. Below, we’ve provided some basic information to help you understand how assisted living communities are licensed as well as some of the most current regulations for assisted living in Texas.
Types of Licenses
There are two types of licensing in Texas, each based on the capability of residents to evacuate the facility.
- Type A licences are for facilities that can only care for residents who are mentally and physically able to evacuate by themselves without the physical help from caregivers and staff (wheelchairs and electric carts are allowed). During the event of an emergency, they must be mentally capable to follow instructions and procedure.
- Type B licenses are given to facilities that house residents who need assistance and are incapable of following instructions and procedure during an emergency. Any facility that houses residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other related diseases, must have a Type B license.
In order to get an assisted living license in Texas, the facility must have the following:
- A completed application
- Written approval from the local fire department that the facility meets local fire ordinances
- A health authority letter
- If facility houses residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a separate application is necessary
Who Gives Out Licenses?
While there are some federal laws and regulations regarding assisted living, it is at the state level that assisted living is fully regulated. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) is in charge of regulatory services in the state and therefore is responsible for giving out licenses to assisted living homes.
New Regulations in Texas
Each year the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services reports on new regulations for assisted living. Here are some of the most up to date regulations:
- Caregiver Services: If a resident prefers to have additional healthcare services, they are allowed to hire a licensed home support service agency or independent professional caregiver to provide care at the facility.
- Assessment: Within 14 days of entrance into the assisted living facility, the resident must go through an assessment that will provide the facility information for an individual care plan.
- Administering Medication: For those who cannot (or wish not to) take their own medication, it must be administered by someone who holds a license to give medicine, has a medication aide permit, or is an employee of the facility who has been appointed by a registered nurse.
- Room Occupancy: Only four residents are allowed per unit. Bedrooms are required to have individual private, general toilets, or connecting toilets for each gender.
- Employee Credentials: A high school diploma or equivalent certification is required for managers in small assisted living facilities. In larger facilities, a manager must have an associates degree in nursing, health care management, or a related field. Employees can also have a bachelor’s degree or high school degree plus one year of experience.
When the time comes to find an assisted living community that is best for you or your loved one, it is important to take into consideration each type of license and to stay up to date on the state’s regulations. If you don’t feel comfortable making the decision yourself, ask someone who has gone through the research before. Alternatively, consult a professional advisor from a free service such as Senior Living Specialists. By educating yourself and using your resources, you can take comfort in knowing you are making the best, and safest, decision.