Last Updated: April 1, 2024

An excerpt from Scott Miller’s presentation, “Florida Retirement Guide: Senior Living, Care Options, Family Choices & Future Trends”

Watch the presentation here:

Frequently Asked Question: What are the Types of Senior Living Licenses in Florida and Which Should You Choose?

Within the multiple styles of community that exist in the state of Florida, there are three types of licensure that you should also be aware of: 1) Standard, 2) LNS, which stands for Limited Nursing Services, and 3) ECC, or extended congregate care.

The ECC license is as close to skilled nursing as you can get without being in a skilled nursing environment, which means basically they can take care of a very high acuity resident.

A standard community doesn’t even need to have a nurse in the building. So you think you’re moving into a community that has care, but it’s minimal. It’s aid care, it’s CNA, PCA, nurse on call. If you had diabetes and you needed diabetes medication, you couldn’t be in a standard community.

Limited nursing services is just that. They have a nurse in the building a certain amount of time per day. It’s better than standard. They can take care of more complex cases. But for example, if you have a wound and you’re in standard or limited nursing services, you can’t stay in the building, you have to go. Now you’re back in a skilled nursing facility.

If you’re in an ECC building, you have the best chance to age in place for the rest of your life.

Something I always recommend to my clients when they’re looking at communities: it’s easy to walk in and see the bells and whistles and go, “Wow, this is amazing, they’ve got a bar, they’ve got bocce ball, they’ve got this, they’ve got that.” They have a standard license. And then you go, it’s a well done community, but care was not at the forefront of their business plan. It was just about amenities.

Amenity-rich communities are everywhere. There are many amenity-rich communities that are standard licensure. And then here’s what happens: You move in, you think you’ve just moved into your forever home and everything’s great. You sold off your home and you got rid of your assets and you’re in this place because you’re gonna be there the rest of your life. Then you have a fall, an incident, or a chronic illness and that community says they can’t take care of you anymore with just standard licensure. You have to move again. Nobody wants to be faced with that.

Now you can see where I’m the advocate, right? I could just tell you, “Let’s go. Move to senior living right now,” and I could get rich. That’s not the goal. The goal is the right move.

One time you need to do this. Once. Just like every other thing we’ve done in our lives. We sell a home, we have to move, you have to move the family or the kids, you have to move all your stuff, you have to get re-acclimated, you have to get re-situated. You start over.

When you’re an elder, starting over and re-acclimating is a much more difficult process that we should all be keenly aware of. So when you make that decision to transition into assisted living, get advice from a trusted source, because you need it to be the right decision. And I’m not saying that all assisted living is bad – trust me, I’m in the business, right? I’m just saying that it is very situational, and you need to be aware.

I always want to think ahead 10 years. If I’m working with you, I want to know not where you are this month or this year. I want to look at your case, your history, your history of illness, some of your acuity issues, your ability to ambulate, and your ability to take care of yourself on a daily basis. I want to look at all those things, and I want to plan 10 years out. What will that look like in 10 years? And then I want to find you an environment that still works in 10 years. That’s the goal.

-Scott Miller, CEO of Florida Senior Consulting

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