What is the typical resident-to-staff ratio in an assisted living facility?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    Seniors and their family members have high expectations of an assisted living facility and that's understandable. A reputable facility that maintains the highest standards will provide residents and family with worry-free confidence in their care. One of the biggest concerns is the staff ratio to residents in an assisted living facility. Knowing the needed help and staff are available when scheduled or requested is part of the overall “service.”

    Although dietary, housekeeping, maintenance, and other non-medical staff play key roles in the comfort and safety of residents, those employees are generally not included in a staff-to-resident ratio count. The ratio usually is used for nursing and aide staff that directly assist residents with activities of daily living (ADLs), like bathing and dispensing medications. While normally a high level of medical care is not necessary or expected in an assisted living facility, residents should be assured that in case of a medical emergency, there is qualified staff available.

    Staffing ratios vary by state licensing requirements and other considerations, such as size of facility and services offered, but a general ratio is 1 nursing aid to every six residents. It's important to remember, however, that the staff skill and qualification levels be part of any equation in a facility. So even though the staff ratio is a guideline, a breakdown of personnel is often more helpful in determining quality of care.