Last Updated: March 19, 2024

Introduction to Assisted Living Licenses

Choosing an assisted living community is an important and monumental decision. There are a wide variety of factors to consider when deciding between the hundreds of senior living communities in Florida.

You should start by considering the level of care you need, your preferred geographical locations, proximity to medical centers, amenities and services included, quality of the food, community atmosphere, and many other factors.

On top of these considerations, you also need to take into account what degree of care the community can actually provide. The level of care available is related to the licensure the community holds. There are 3 main types of licenses: Standard License, Limited Nursing Services (LNS) License, and Extended Congregate Care (ECC) License.

What is a Standard License?

All assisted living communities begin with a Standard License as a base. Standard Licenses allow basic assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as grooming, dressing, feeding, bathing, and toileting. They also allow for help with medication management and administration of oxygen, casts, and splints.

From there, specialty licenses can be added to allow communities to meet more advanced care needs.

What is a Limited Nursing Services (LNS) License?

In communities with a Limited Nursing Services (LNS), licensed nurses can provide more extensive services than they could under a Standard License.

Some of these services include conducting passive range of motion exercises, applying ice caps and collars, applying heat, performing ear and eye irrigations, conducting urine dipstick tests, replacing indwelling urinary catheters, and applying and changing routine dressings.

What is an Extended Congregate Care (ECC) License?

Nurse advising elderly man

Florida’s Compendium of Residential Care and Assisted Living Regulations and Policy defines an Extended Congregate Care as a higher level of care in assisted living, including additional nursing services and total assistance with personal care services.

When communities hold an Extended Congregate Care (ECC) License, it allows residents to reside in the community despite any mental or physical limitations that might otherwise prevent them from doing so under a standard ALF license.

Mandatory services that must be provided with an ECC License include – but are not limited to – complete help with ADLs, more frequent nursing assessments, and assistance with medication administration.

Other examples of nursing services included in Extended Congregate Care are diabetic management, routine care of amputation or fractures, care of suprapubic catheters, gastrostomy tube feedings, hospice supportive care, and more.

What are the Benefits of Extended Congregate Care?

Standard assisted living communities are only able to provide up to a certain level of health care services. That means if a resident’s care needs increase, they may need to move to another residential facility, such as skilled nursing, to receive this higher level of care.

On the other hand, residents in communities with ECC licenses are more likely to be able to stay in their own community if their level of care needs increases. This is because they can receive a higher level of care in a community with an ECC license than a standard license.

Staying in the same community, as opposed to switching around, is ideal for all seniors. Naturally, it would be difficult to move communities after starting to feel comfortable or familiar with where you are. Your friends live there, you’ve built connections with the staff, and you know your way around.

Plus, it is more convenient to stay in your own space rather than having to move all your belongings to somewhere new.

These are just some of the many benefits of living in a community with specialty licensure like an ECC license.

Finding the Right Assisted Living Community

Smiling mother and daughter

Clearly there are many factors involved in choosing an assisted living community. Along with deciding your priorities and preferences, it is important to assess your health care needs and find a community that is able to effectively meet them.

If you are overwhelmed by all the choices for senior living, don’t worry – you’re not alone!

With so many variables to consider, it can be confusing and stressful finding the best assisted living community for you.

That’s where Florida Senior Consulting comes in.

With years of experience, our expert senior advisors will get to know you, listen to all your health care needs, and help you find the best community that checks all your boxes.

Want more information? Call (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com for a no-obligation consultation.

Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.

Contact Florida Senior Consulting

(800) 969-7176