Application for Certification

The Executive Office of Elder Affairs (Elder Affairs) recommends that new applicants for assisted living certification submit an application with all the necessary supporting documents at least 60 days prior to the anticipated date of opening. This will provide Elder Affairs sufficient time to review the application and complete the certification process before the residence is open for occupancy. If Elder Affairs does not receive the application 60 days prior to the anticipated date of opening, the opening may be delayed. Elder Affairs will contact the Applicant to schedule an on-site review which will be conducted approximately 30 days before the scheduled opening date.

Please note, prior to advertising as an assisted living residence, the Applicant must first notify Elder Affairs of their intention to apply for Certification. In addition, all marketing materials must indicate that the certification process has not been completed (e.g., certification pending.) If the above requirement is not met, the Applicant may be considered to be advertising as an assisted living residence without certification.

Initial On-site Review

The staff at Elder Affairs will conduct an on-site compliance review prior to the certification of the assisted living residence. As part of the review process, Elder Affairs' staff will tour the residence, review personnel files and interview both the Director and the Resident Care Coordinator. Elder Affairs will send the Applicant a letter within 10 business days indicating what clarification/changes need to be made to the materials submitted with the application, and if any additional documentation is necessary (e.g., certificate of occupancy or documentation which indicates that the required orientation has been completed).

The Residence may not open (move in any residents) until it completes the certification process and has received a certificate to operate as an assisted living residence.

Elder Affairs may conduct another on-site review, including resident interviews and a review of resident records, after the new Residence has commenced operation.

Designation of Units for Assisted Living

In cases where all units within a facility meet the physical requirements of assisted living regulations, it is not required that the residence designate the specific units for certification. When units are not being utilized as assisted living units, and all units do not meet the physical requirements, the residence must designate the specific assisted living units for certification. However, it is important that the Residence not open additional units to residents above the maximum approved number without completing the certification process set forth in 651 CMR 12.4(8).

Any residence operating assisted living units without certification is subject to a civil penalty of up to $500 per unit/per day, plus additional monetary penalties for referring residents to uncertified units.

Personnel Training and Orientation

Assisted living residences providing personal care services through a third party contract must confirm that their contracted providers meet the minimum qualifications listed in 651 CMR 12.07(1) and (3). The applicant/Sponsor may request a copy of the "Personal Care Training Requirement for Contracted Third Party Providers" form from Elder Affairs.

Residency Agreement

When any final certification letter from Elder Affairs modifies the residency agreement, the residence must implement the new agreement with any new residents who move in after the receipt of this letter. All other residents should sign the revised agreement upon the next occurrence of any needed amendment or renewal of their agreement.

Landlord/Tenant Law

Unless a resident leaves voluntarily, assisted living residences must terminate the residency agreement in accordance with the landlord/tenant law. M.G.L. Chs. 186 and 239 are pertinent to an eviction process. According to the landlord/tenant law, the residence must provide at least fourteen days notice prior to termination of an agreement for non-payment of rent. All other termination clauses must be specified in the agreement and must state the length of notice that will be given.

Personal Care Services

Individuals responsible for providing personal care services must either complete personal care training prior to providing personal care services or be exempt from this requirement. See 651 CMR 12.07(6).

Residences are not responsible for any personal care services contracted for privately by the resident and/or their family members if the services are not part of the service plan or if the resident contracts with a provider with no affiliation with the residence. Residences may request that the resident notify the management if any such arrangements are being made between a resident and a private provider but may not establish requirements that would infringe upon a resident's right to privately contract for services.