About Assisted LivingAssisted living facilities offer housing and care for active seniors who may need support with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and medication management.Complete guide to assisted livingBest of 2024 Assisted Living Winners
About Memory CareMemory care facilities provide housing, care, and therapies for seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in an environment designed to reduce confusion and prevent wandering. Complete guide to memory careBest of 2024 Memory Care Winners
About Independent LivingIndependent living facilities offer convenient, hassle-free living in a social environment for seniors who are active, healthy, and able to live on their own.Complete guide to independent livingBest of 2024 Independent Living Winners
About Senior LivingSenior living is a term used to describe various housing and care options for older adults from maintenance-free, 55+ facilities for active seniors, to secure, fully staffed facilities for seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia. Complete guide to senior livingFind senior living facilities near you
About Nursing HomesNursing homes provide short-and long-term care for seniors who have physical or mental health conditions that require 24-hour nursing and personal care.Complete guide to Nursing Homes
About Senior ApartmentsSenior apartments offer accessible, no-frills living for seniors who are generally active, healthy, and able to live on their own.Complete guide to Senior Apartments
About Care HomesResidential care homes are shared neighborhood homes for seniors who need a live-in caregiver to assist with activities of daily living, like dressing and bathing.Complete guide to care homes
Veteran ResourcesVA benefits for long-term care, such as Aid and Attendance benefits, can help eligible veterans and their surviving spouses pay for senior care.Guide to VA benefits for long-term care

A State-by-State Guide to Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Independent Living Regulations

Assisted living, memory care, and independent living communities are regulated by state governments, which means that rules and requirements will vary by state. Regulations also vary by the type of care a community provides.

In most cases, the state’s health or social services department sets regulation requirements for memory care and assisted living. Once a community is licensed, it will receive regular inspections. Some states inspect annually while others let two years pass between inspections. Regardless of how often inspections occur, all states have inspection reports. You can check a community’s license and inspection report history by contacting the state department that’s in charge of licensing; many states post inspection reports online. You can report a violation through this same agency.

Memory care is often considered a specialized form of assisted living, and is licensed through the same state agency. Assisted living communities must meet extra requirements in order to offer memory care. These could include safety features in the community as well as staff training. These requirements will vary by state, too.

Since independent living communities don’t provide senior care, they are not licensed or regulated in the same way as assisted living and memory care communities. But they typically need to meet state and city requirements for apartment buildings, such as fire safety and rights governing renters. Some cities inspect rental properties.

You can find information on how your state regulates assisted living, memory care, and independent living below.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader. Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter, and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site. Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not endorse the contents of the third-party sites.