The Miami Herald’s recent series on Assisted Living Facilities in the State of Florida was highly commendable in purpose, but confused a number of very important and distinct aspects of ALFs. A short piece by Richard Grimes of the Assisted Living Federation of America, printed in today’s Herald, succeeds at differentiating between the private care that residences like Bay Oaks gives exclusively to seniors and that of state-funded facilities for the mentally ill.
“Assisted living” is most identified in the minds of the public (and in the law in other states) as a residential alternative to nursing homes for the elderly — not a catch-all for other populations — like the mentally ill. The care needs of a frail senior are much different than an individual with mental illness — often younger and more physically healthy. Yet, in Florida, unlike the vast majority of other states, the communities that provide care for the mentally ill are also licensed as “assisted living” just as those that provide care to frail seniors. This confuses the public.
We encourage you to read the whole article here.