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Assisted living redefined in new building codes

April 26, 2013
by Pamela Tabar, Senior Editor
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The long-term care housing market is finally receiving a consistent set of building codes that differentiate between nursing homes and assisted living communities.

In the past, building codes, fire safety regulations and state regulations were often at odds with each other. Assisted living communities were often lumped together with hospitals and nursing homes instead of being viewed as unique living structures, according an article in ALFA Update. In order to conform to the building code, assisted living communities often had to make expensive changes or add features that were superfluous.

“Thankfully, people understand we don’t need to be built like a nursing home or hospital,” says Maribeth Bersani, senior vice president of public policy for the American Federation of Assisted Living (ALFA), in a release.

The new code will not be published until 2015, but assisted living facilities should consider adopting the new codes now, especially if renovations are planned in the next few years, ALFA suggests.

ALFA has published a toolkit to help project managers navigate the changes in the new code.

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