Medicaid Long-Term Care Programs in Florida


Florida is home to a large number of senior assisted living communities. The state is also home to several programs that help seniors pay for long-term care. Elder law attorneys regularly work with clients who need to access these long-term care programs. In most cases, the programs are designed to help with the cost of an elder’s room and board at a residential facility and/or services provided in the home.

Most of the time, we deal with helping elderly people get Medicaid ALF Florida to pay for their care at an ALF or in their home. This often involves a lengthy wait list, as well as trying to meet the income and asset requirements to qualify for the benefit. Those seeking long-term care through Medicaid in an ALF must also be aware of certain limitations on the amount they can spend in any given month.

ALFs must provide residents with a variety of food that is appropriate for their nutritional needs. They must also offer residents convenient telephone access to facilitate private and unrestricted communication. Those facilities with limited nursing care licenses or Extended Congregate Care licensure must have a nurse on staff to provide medication administration and monitor residents.

The state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program ensures that ALFs respect residents’ rights. In addition, the program mediates complaints and reports of violations, abuse, or neglect. The State’s Attorney General also has a Senior Legal Helpline that can provide legal advice and referrals.

Those residing at an ALF must be encouraged to participate in social and leisure activities. Additionally, they must be able to perform their daily activities with supervision or assistance, and have easy access to transportation. ALFs may not admit individuals who require 24-hour nursing supervision or need extensive assistance with all activities of daily living. Prospective residents must also be free of stage 2, 3, or 4 pressure sores at the time of admission.

Some of the most common reasons someone moves into an ALF include dementia, a physical disability, or being unable to live independently. Florida law requires that all ALFs have an individualized plan of care for each resident. The plan should include goals and measurable outcomes. This allows family members to review progress and adjust the care plan as needed.

Florida assisted living laws also require that a caregiver be available 24 hours a day for those who need assistance with basic activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Florida ALFs are also required to offer a variety of activities.

Many Florida ALFs have a variety of health services on-site, including a doctor or dentist. Moreover, 65% of ALFs in the state offer skilled nursing. Furthermore, most have health care specialists on-site and a variety of other services such as dental care, hospice, and mental health counseling. Lastly, 51% of ALFs in the state have social work programs to conduct depression screenings and assist with other psychological problems. In some instances, an elder may need to go to the hospital for medical treatment. When this happens, the ALF is required to notify the local law enforcement and provide them with a copy of the resident’s medical records.