What Safety Features Should the Ideal Senior Living Facility Have?

What Safety Features Should the Ideal Senior Living Facility Have?

Getting older is a fact of life. No matter how well you take care of yourself, a time may arise when you need to consider moving to a senior living facility. And even if you are in perfect health, growing older means taking the necessary precautions to prevent accidents and injuries. Before making a final purchasing decision, you need to know that the facility you choose is equipped to take care of everyone else who resides there.

Safety Alert

Living by yourself as a senior citizen can be scary. With age comes safety risks, so when you’re looking to buy or to invest in a senior living facility, you want to make sure that it’s equipped with proper alarms for everyone who lives there. A reputable senior living facility should have alert systems installed throughout the community. People should be able to access them easily if needed, particularly if someone were to fall. Even independent living centers for elders who are healthy and full of vigor need that extra peace of mind.

Hand Rails

People of all ages can lose their footing, trip, and fall down. However, as people get older, it’s not uncommon for them to become unsteady on their feet. More so for seniors, falls can cause serious injuries. Take note of whether the facilities you tour have handrails installed. They should be in every bathroom, hallway, and staircase. Handrails should also be at the right height, so if someone falls, that person can reach them easily. This simple but effective upgrade should be a top priority.

Intercom Systems

Alert systems are not the same as an intercom system. While alert systems can call EMS, having an intercom system is also important, especially for seniors with reduced mobility. Being able to call for help, even in the next room, saves lives. If you don’t see one installed, ask whether you’re allowed to install one on your own. If you’re considering buying a unit, there may be restrictions on what you can and cannot do inside the unit or facility.

In addition to these above-mentioned safety features, take note of current residents and staff if possible. Inquire whether there are community activities that encourage positive social interaction. Social interaction is crucial, especially as people get older, to avoid feeling isolated and alone. Finally, ask whether there is a physician on staff. Many senior living facilities do employ both physicians and nurses just in case they’re needed. Take all of these amenities into account as you consider the available safety features at any senior living facility.
If you’re looking to buy an assisted living center property, get in touch with us today!

Safety Equipment Your Assisted Living Facility Absolutely Needs to Have

Safety Equipment Your Assisted Living Facility Absolutely Needs to Have

Safety is one of the most important reasons families decide it is better for aging loved ones to reside in an assisted living facility than in their own homes. There are a number of things necessary for owners of assisted living facilities to understand to make good on this promise of safety. This includes what safety equipment should be available on the premises at all times.

Well-Stocked First Aid Supplies

It is vital to be proactive in your approach to handling any possible injuries and emergencies that might occur. One important first step is to make sure a well-stocked first aid kit is always on hand. Older people possess more brittle bones and thinner skin which makes it necessary for them to receive a higher level of care for minor injuries than other people. According to Family Resource Home Care, your first aid kit should at least include the following:

  • scissors 
  • transparent film dressing
  • self-adhesive bandages
  • butterfly closures
  • rolled gauze
  • paper tape
  • nonstick gauze

Fall Prevention Equipment

Falls are a major cause of injuries for people of all ages but can be especially problematic for people who have reached an advanced age. The use of fall prevention equipment can be the determining factor in whether an incident is a minor inconvenience or a life-threatening injury. According to Bohn & Fletcher, assisted living facilities should provide things such as handrails, grab bars, bedding, safe and comfortable seating, and walkers or canes. Fall mats are also useful, especially alongside beds and in bathrooms. Fall management socks are excellent for providing extra traction when walking on slippery surfaces. The handrails and grab bars you purchase will be especially useful in the bathroom where the floor is often moist and residents will have to get in and out of the bathtub.

Security Equipment

Your assistant home living facility will provide housing for vulnerable people. Because of this, it is extra important for you to take security measures that will ensure the safety of your residents. According to Keri Systems, perimeter access to the facility should be tightly controlled. This will prevent access by unauthorized people and keep residents from wandering off without the knowledge of you or your employees. There should be a point of contact at each door that makes communication with an employee inside the facility necessary. Only known visitors with a photo ID should be allowed inside. You and your staff will not be able to have eyes on patients at all times. In-patient monitoring systems will allow you to make sure residents do not need assistance while in their rooms. Also, be sure that your assisted living facility has a capable fire alarm system.

Providing for the safety of residents is job number one for you as the owner of an assisted home living facility. There are many things to consider as you work to improve safety standards for your residents. The three tips above will provide you with a solid foundation for making your facility as safe as possible.
If you’re looking to buy an assisted living facility, take a look at our listings!

Types of Assisted Living Facilities

Types of Assisted Living Facilities

The Different Types of Assisted Living Facilities

What are the different types of assisted living facilities? What are their specialties?

If you’re looking to start your own assisted living facility, those are two questions you’ll need to ask (and answer).

Essentially, five different groups need assisted living in some form or another:

  • Seniors
  • Dementia patients
  • The developmentally disabled
  • The mentally ill
  • The brain-injured (traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, etc)

In this article, we’re going to review exactly what types of assisted living facilities cater to each group so that you can have a better idea of the licensing, possible bed rates, demand, and level of care required to service them.

The Different Types of Assisted Living Facilities: Focus on the Demographic

“Assisted living” has come to mean a lot of things. Naturally, it can get a little confusing.

We’ll use the term “assisted living,” generally but, as you’ll see, you can just as easily replace it with any terms that encompass the same level of medical care and assistance.

Nursing homes are still technically “assisted living facilities” because they assist dementia patients with basic living tasks, so people might refer to their grandparents’ nursing home as an “assisted living facility.”

However, there’s also a specific name for facilities that cater to an elderly crowd that doesn’t yet require serious medical treatment or 24-hour supervision: literally titled an “assisted living facility.”

What’s even more confusing is that the name of the assisted living facility that you’re looking to start might vary from state to state – like we noted in our article on “Starting an Assisted Living Facility in Michigan.

Thus, don’t get hung up on the terminology. Focus, instead, on the group of people you’re looking to help. The terminology will change from state to state, but the people that you’re looking to help will stay the same.

Then, when you’ve found out the type of facility you want, follow our guides on how to get started with financing for those facilities.

Seniors: Assisted Living, Board and Care, Adult Living, Supported Care

It’s a sad fact of life: With old age comes decreased cognitive functioning and increased dependence on others – even for the most basic tasks. Everyone, at some point, will reach the age where they need someone to help take care of them. You and your loved ones are no different.

Assisted living facilities are designed with this purpose in mind. Unless they’re connected to nursing homes, they typically don’t assist people with dementia or other serious illnesses. Instead, they’re focused on helping the elderly with everyday functioning; nursing homes would provide too much care, in this instance, and therefore would probably be too expensive for the care recipient. This way, with these senior care facilities, the owners don’t need to pay for expensive services that the recipients don’t actually need.

Some of these facilities are able to get Medicare, and most of the patients in these types of facilities either pay privately or they qualify for long-term care insurance.

The level of skilled nursing varies from facility to facility. Some seniors haven’t yet reached the point where they need a licensed medical professional to insert a catheter into them, for instance, while others have. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that senior care facilities vary. Here are some of the different types of assisted living facilities that are available for seniors who need a little bit of help but haven’t yet reached the point where they need serious medical care:

  • Assisted Living Facilities (also “board and care,” “adult living,” and “supported care”). The key term here – what assisted living facilities actually assist with – is called an “activity of daily living” (ADL for short). According to MedicineNet, typical ADLs include feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure. As we mentioned above, the patients in assisted living facilities typically don’t require a high degree of medical care, so assistance with these tasks can be performed by anyone with a basic degree of training.

Dementia Patients: Memory Care, Long-Term Care, Skilled Nursing, Custodial Care

According to the World Health Organization, the percentage of adults 60 years and older living with dementia at any given time is around 5-8%. The total number of people with dementia is expected to reach 82 million in 2030 and 152 million in 2050. Just like assisted living facilities, there’s a growing market for facilities that cater toward dementia patients.

And, when it comes to informal caregiving, the jury is out: When friends, family members, and other relatives are tasked with the assistance of a person suffering from dementia, both suffer. 98-99% of informal caregivers experienced problems with trying to take care of their loved one by themselves – and it ended up seriously affecting their social lives in the later stages of the illness. A vast majority of them ended up needing additional professional support anyway.

In fact, according to that same study published in The Open Nursing Journal, “The amount of available professional care is, however, not expected to rise in line with the growing demand in the ageing population.” However, this is good news for those of you looking to start nursing homes and other care facilities catered toward dementia patients.

Naturally, these facilities demand a higher level of care: more skilled and more attentive. The facilities themselves are usually on lockdown to prevent any patient from wandering off, and some of them have amenities such as aromatherapy, pet therapy, and greenhouses – in order to keep patients at ease.

  • Memory Care Facility (also called “long-term care facilities,” “skilled nursing facilities,” and “custodial care facilities”). These types of facilities demand a higher level of care than simple assisted living facilities. Licensed medical professionals are typically on staff 24/7 to help with patients’ needs. Typically, these have higher bed rates than senior care facilities. Many researchers believe that professional care for those with dementia won’t scale in proportion to the level of demand, so opening a nursing home might be a smart investment.

The Developmentally Disabled: Facilities Serving People With Developmental Disabilities (FDD), Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID)

Alternatively, there are facilities designed with no age requirements – for people of all ages who need some level of assisted care with their daily activities. Just like most of the other types of facilities designed for these different demographics, there are varying levels of expertise required for those living in a facility for the developmentally disabled.

For instance, some members are relatively high-functioning members of society. They might even have day jobs, so they’ll leave at some point throughout the day. These members only need help with basic tasks (the ALDs we mentioned above, on the bullet-point for “assisted living facilities”): cooking, cleaning, keeping their medication organized, staying above par when it comes to their personal hygiene, and so on.

FDDS: Facilities Serving People with Disabilities

FDDs help patients learn new skills and maintain their current skills. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, an FDD:

  • Provides active treatment, ongoing evaluation, planning, 24-hour supervision, coordination, and integration of health or rehabilitative services to help each individual function at his/her greatest ability.

ICF: Intermediated Care Facility

As you can see, that’s a fairly high level of care that will likely require licensed medical professionals. Meanwhile, an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) does exactly what it sounds like. It provides an intermediate level of care between basic and intensive. It’s just a step down from an FDD. From Highland Risk:

  • An ICF is typically regarded as a lower-level nursing care facility when compared to a skilled nursing facility, but its residents require more care and attention than those in a residential care facility for the elderly or an adult residential care facility.

As for funding, some pay private, some are taken care of through Social Security, but most of them are placed in an FDD, ICF, or lower, more basic facility for the developmentally disabled through government programs.

Bed rates are usually less than both senior care and nursing homes, and facilities for the high-functioning developmentally disabled, naturally, pay the least in comparison to the others.

  • Developmentally Disabled Care Facilities: Facilities Serving People With Developmental Disabilities (FDD), Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID), and other basic facilities for the high-functioning developmentally disabled. These facilities serve all types of people, not just seniors. Some members of Developmentally Disabled Care Facilities are high-functioning, so they have jobs that they go to during the day. Facilities like that, which care for people who need some help but not a lot, don’t make as much money as the others.

The Mentally Ill: Psychiatric Hospitals, Day Treatment Mental Health Facilities, Residential Mental Health Treatment Facilities for Adults or Children, and Separate Inpatient Units in a Hospital

When most people think about mental health facilities, they assume it’s something like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Less like a hospital and more like a prison: constantly on lockdown with  a variety of people suffering from severe, debilitating mental illness – and maybe you could even add electroshock therapy in there, for good measure.

High Demand for Psychiatric Hospitals

Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, only 6.2% of mental health facilities are full-out psychiatric hospitals, and psychiatric hospitals, in actuality, are nothing like the movies. (Sidenote: of that 6.2%, over half are privately owned).

The trend, over the past fifty years, has been to eliminate psychiatric hospitals in favor of outpatient care – and the data shows the demand for inpatient care is actually at an all-time high, with some patients struggling to even find a bed.

The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors has this to say:

“The shortage of psychiatric inpatient beds has become a major national issue, with the lack of availability identified as a major issue by policy makers, states, mental health families, academics, and popular media. Many reports regarding these shortages start with the major decline in inpatient capacity in state psychiatric hospitals—a decrease of over 500,000 beds since the 1950s.”

Meanwhile, mental health problems in the US are on the rise: Gen Z is more likely than any other generation before it to suffer from serious mental health issues.

Outpatient Care Facilities: Day Treatment

Naturally, though, just like every other type of facility on this list, there are varying levels and demands of care. Most mental health facilities are day facilities. According to the National Mental Health Services survey, roughly 60.8% of facilities are outpatient, day treatment, or partial hospitalization facilities.

Thus, each of these facilities will have different bed rates and qualifications for licensing. Because of the high demand, psychiatric hospitals will have high bed rates, while others will have much lower bed rates.

Also, according to Mental Health America, fewer youth are insured for mental health treatment: “The proportion of youth with private insurance that did not cover mental or emotional difficulties nearly doubled, from 4.6 percent in 2012 to 8.1 percent in 2017.”

So, there’s a variety of payment methods for inpatient and outpatient mental health recipients: private, Medicare, and through a family insurance plan.

  • The Mentally Ill: Day Treatment Mental Health Facilities, Psychiatric Hospitals, Residential Mental Health Treatment Facilities for Adults or Children, and Separate Inpatient Units in a Hospital. Of these listed, psychiatric hospitals are the highest in demand. However, because of the rise of mental health issues across the country (along with care being socially destigmatized), all of them are viable options for your own assisted living facility.

The Brain Injured: Transitional Care and Nursing Homes

Assisted living facilities designed for those suffering from traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and multiple trauma are typically labeled as “transitional care.”

Every year, an estimated 1.5 million people suffer from traumatic brain injury. Of that 1.5 million, 230,000 are hospitalized. That also means there are over 5.3 million people living with a permanent TBI-related disability. The demand for transitional care (and even occasional outpatient care) is, therefore, fairly high.

Also, pay can be collected in a number of ways. Some patients pay privately, some pay through Medicare (depending on the situation and length of stay), and others pay through auto insurance. Auto insurance can be difficult to collect on, so be warned.

  • The Brain Injured: Transitional Care and Nursing Homes.

Conclusion: The Different Types of Assisted Living Facilities

Over the years, “assisted living” has come to mean a lot of different things, so if you’re looking to start an assisted living facility, it can be difficult to gather research on the different types of assisted living facilities.

In this article, we clarified that confusion by focusing on the demographics that each facility serves:

  • Seniors
  • Dementia patients
  • The developmentally disabled
  • The mentally ill
  • The brain-injured (traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, etc)

You can quickly go through our list and find names for the type of facility that caters toward each group.

Anyway, we hope our data on the different types of assisted living facilities will help you narrow down your research.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, contact us today.

Starting an Assisted Living Facility in Michigan

Starting an Assisted Living Facility in Michigan

Starting an Assisted Living Facility in Michigan: A Guide

Are you looking to start an assisted living facility in Michigan?

What unique problems might you run into? What’s special about assisted living facilities in Michigan? What steps can you take today to make your business idea a reality?

In this article, we’ll show you the specific laws and regulations surrounding assisted living facilities in Michigan – including the difference between an “assisted living facility,” an “adult foster care facility,” and a “home for the aged,” – and we’ll guide you toward the best course of action.

What’s Different About Michigan Assisted Living Facilities?

Isn’t assisted living the same everywhere? Why should starting an assisted living facility in Michigan be any different than anywhere else?

Well, no, assisted living is not the same everywhere. Rules and regulations for assisted living facilities vary from state to state. There actually isn’t any federal regulation, so paying extra special attention to your state’s laws is paramount.

Just because you have experience opening a successful assisted living facility in California doesn’t mean that experience will necessarily transfer to opening a successful assisted living facility in Michigan. The laws, regulations, and quality control might be completely different, and so one of those elements might radically change your business plan. In fact, depending on your organization’s goals and quality of care, you might not even be opening just an “assisted living facility.” It might actually be called something completely different, as you’ll see.

Furthermore, the residential care business, as well as real estate in general, is all about location. If you’re not willing to do some research on what’s different about assisted living in Michigan, you’re not off to a good start.

Luckily, we’re here for you. We’ll break down everything you need to know.

Cost of Care in Michigan

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2018 breaks down the cost of assisted living nationally and by state. Now, we know you’re looking to purchase an assisted living facility – not just assisted living services for a loved one – but this data might help you determine your competition’s rates. That could provide you with some valuable information on how you can outperform them, whether it’s in service, quality, or price. It’s a good place to begin.

Nationally, the cost for assisted living is pretty high: it works out to about $133 per day for most, and $278 per day for a private room. Full-time home health aide services aren’t that much better, either, with an average of roughly $127 per day.

The costs for assisted living in Michigan are both higher and lower than the national average, so that indicates, for certain services, the market is ripe for arbitrage. The median cost for assisted living in Michigan is $126 per day for most, and $300 for a private room. Full-time home health aide services work out to roughly $137 per day.

The cost of assisted living in Michigan isn’t all that competitive, then. As we talked about in a previous article, the proportion of older Americans is growing every day – and so, then, is the demand for assisted living care.

What else about assisted living in Michigan do you need to know?

The Difference Between “Assisted Living Facilities,” “Adult Foster Care Facilities,” and “Homes for the Aged.”

For one, regulatory agencies in Michigan don’t use the term “assisted living facilities.” Instead, they prefer the terms, “adult foster care facilities” (also known as an AFC or AFC home) and “homes for the aged.” Among other things, this means that assisted living facilities in Michigan don’t necessarily have to be licensed. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs only licenses adult foster care facilities and homes for the aged, and the licensing requirement is different for both.

This all might sound semantic, but it’s actually incredibly important. In order to qualify for an SBA 7(a), the primary method of financing for most assisted living facilities, you’re very likely going to need to be licensed.

And, before you apply for licensing in Michigan to start your organization, you’re going to want to know if you want to make it an AFC or a home for the aged. Each of them are designed, of course, to provide care to individuals who need some sort of assistance, but there are important differences.

Assisted Living Facilities in Michigan

Since Assisted Living Facility doesn’t technically refer to any sort of licensing, it’s possible that some room and board facilities and certain types of senior housing don’t need to be licensed, as we mentioned before, so it’s important to understand the rules and regulations to avoid any legal issues. Unlicensed facilities may not qualify for an SBA 7(a). There are other financing options available for your venture, but the SBA 7(a) is by far the most popular when starting or buying an assisted living facility.

For consumers, this means that the term “assisted living facility” only exists in Michigan to borrow some brand name recognition from other assisted living facilities that exist across the nation. Assisted living facilities in Michigan, then, may refer to any type of residential facility that provides some sort of personal or medical care.

Adult Foster Care Facilities

What is an adult foster care facility and how does it differ from other types of assisted living facilities?

As stated by The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs,

“Adult foster care is a specific type of assisted living, as outlined in Public Health Code Act 218 of the Michigan legislature.”

It goes on to outline the exact provisions of supervision, personal care, and protection for every AFC resident, as well as the requirements for room and board – all of which are fairly straightforward and easy to understand.

In order to develop a more comprehensive idea of the differences between adult foster care and every other type of facility, it might be easier to focus on what adult foster care isn’t. As they list in the article, adult foster care isn’t:

  • A nursing home, because the residents don’t require continuous care.
  • “It is not a room and board situation, because 24-hour supervision is provided.” Now, this is a little confusing and contradictory. The “Adult Foster Care Tutorial” says just a few sentences above that, “Foster care means the provision of supervision, personal care, and protection in addition to room and board.” When they wrote this, I’m sure they meant it isn’t strictly a room-and-board situation, because of the necessity for high-quality care. (Aren’t you glad we’re going through all this data for you?)
  • Not strictly a home care service, because you need physical real estate.
  • And, of course, it excludes other facilities that require different licensing, like “Homes for the Aged,” “Hospitals,” “Facilities Operated by the Department of Community Health,” and “Children’s Facilities.”

So, in that case, what makes a home for the aged any different from an adult foster care facility?

Home for the Aged

Also, as stated by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs:

  • A home for the aged is a specific type of assisted living, as outlined in Public Health Code Act 368 and the administrative rules.
  • “Home for the aged means a supervised personal care facility that provides room, board, and supervised personal care to 21 or more unrelated, non-transient individuals 55 years of age or older. Home for the aged includes a supervised personal care facility for 20 or fewer individuals 55 years of age or older if the facility is operated in conjunction with and as a distinct part of a licensed nursing home.”

The second rule is by far the most important: adult foster cares have a specific cap on how many individuals can be members of the facility. A home for the aged doesn’t necessarily have that same cap.

And here’s what a home for the aged is not, with some explanatory comments thrown in:

  • It is not a nursing home. (The licensing required for nursing homes is different from the licensing required for homes for the aged).
  • “It is not a room and board situation.” (Here we go again… They probably mean it isn’t strictly a room and board situation, but it might be a good question to ask the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs when you apply).
  • The other two rules are the same as the ones stated above for adult foster care facilities: It’s not strictly a home care service, because you need physical real estate.
  • And, of course, it excludes other facilities that require different licensing, like “Adult Foster Care (AFC),” “Hospitals,” “Facilities Operated by the Department of Community Health,” and “Children’s Facilities.”

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Applying for a License

Finally, there are some important questions you should ask yourself before determining this route is the one you want to take – whether you want to apply to start or buy an adult foster care facility or home for the aged. Let’s review those questions now.

  • Do you believe you have the required business expertise to successfully run one of these facilities?
  • What insurance are you going to buy?
  • How are you going to finance? (Hint, hint: We have an article on that…)
  • And, most importantly, are you able and willing to have the government look through you and your family’s financial history and criminal records to prove that you’re an upstanding citizen?

In order to run a licensed assisted living facility in Michigan, you have to make a positive impression on the public. Otherwise, the government will likely not grant you a license to operate.

Think about it from the consumer’s perspective: No one wants to invest hard-earned money in someone they can’t trust. With assisted living prices as high as they are, that’s doubly true.

So, if you’ve had a run-in with the IRS, or if you’ve declared bankruptcy in the past ten years, or if you’ve had multiple run-ins with the law, it’s likely going to be that much more difficult to secure a license for your assisted living facility. That’s simply the reality of what you’re about to go through.

That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s impossible. Communication is important, so make sure to talk with whoever’s in charge of licensing and be ready to explain any moral shortcomings you may or may not have.

Conclusion: Starting or Buying an Assisted Living Facility in Michigan

As you’ve learned, laws and regulations regarding assisted living facilities vary from state to state. Starting an assisted living facility in Michigan is not the same thing as starting an assisted living facility in California. For that reason, it’s incredibly important to do state-specific research.

The average cost for assisted living in Michigan is a little bit lower than the national average for most assisted living setups, at $126 per day, and a little bit higher for private assisted living (that is, the elderly person has his or her own private room in a facility) at a much higher $300 per day. This information could be central to your business strategy. If you have experience opening assisted living facilities that specialize in low costs for private rooms, you might want to consider expanding into the Michigan markets.

The most important thing you’ll need to know about purchasing an assisted living facility in Michigan, or starting one from scratch, is that there’s a difference between “room and board,” which are unlicensed, and “adult foster care facilities,” and “homes for the aged.” The latter two are licensed differently, but the principal difference is that a home for the aged is limited to residents age 55 and older and can’t care for people with some other specific needs. According to the Adult Foster Care Facility Licensing Act, adult foster care facilities can have a maximum number of residents based on certain characteristics of the facility itself, but cannot be licensed for more than 20.

We hope that this guide has pointed you in the right direction for starting an assisted living facility in Michigan. Once you know the differences between each type of facility, it becomes that much easier to fill out the requisite paperwork and apply for your license.

We wish you the best of luck.

Loans to Purchase an Assisted Living Facility

Loans to Purchase an Assisted Living Facility

Looking to Purchase an Assisted Living Facility? Everything You Need to Know About Financing the Deal

Do you want to purchase an assisted living facility? Here’s everything you need to know about financing.

It’s a fact of life that everyone’s getting older every day, but, if it seems like there are more elderly people alive today than there were ten years ago, that’s because, well, there are

Thanks to modern medicine, the proportion of Americans who have made it to at least 90 years old has doubled since 1980. By 2050, the US Census Bureau predicts that number will double again, with the proportion of 90-and-older Americans making up a whopping 10 percent of the population.

Those people will need somewhere to live. Many are opting for in-home care support, but it’s safe to say that the current assisted living market is destined to scale. Buying an assisted living facility is – very likely – a sound investment that serves an ever-growing portion of the population.

In this article, we’ll give you a primer on the most popular loan type for financing an assisted living facility: an SBA 7(a) loan.

We’ll show you SBA 7(a) loans work, tell you how to qualify for an SBA 7(a), where to apply (what lenders are approved by the SBA), rank the top lenders by total loan volume and approved loan count, give you an overview of the exact documents you’ll need to apply, and then we’ll wrap it all up with a recap.

Ready to get started? Your dream of starting your own assisted living facility starts right now.

What is an SBA 7(a) Loan? And How Can I Use One to Purchase an Assisted Living Facility?

An SBA 7(a) loan is one of the most popular loan programs offered by the Small Business Administration.

The SBA can guarantee you up to $3.75 million on a $5 million loan. This way, you’ll have the necessary capital to invest in an assisted living facility – or you can use the money to make improvements to one that already exists. Some sites, like The Balance Small Business, list the maximum amount you can receive from an SBA 7(a) is only $2 million, with a $1.5 million guarantee. This is wrong – and, more importantly, possibly not enough money to fund your venture. According to the US Small Business Administration, the maximum loan amount for an SBA 7(a) is $5 million.

 You can use it for real estate, working capital, equipment, debt refinance, and change of ownership.

The terms last 25 years for real estate, 10 years for equipment, and 10 years for working capital or inventory.

The interest rates are relatively low, ranging from 7.75% to 10.25%.

These two factors – length and interest rate – make the SBA 7(a) one of the best and most popular options for securing long-term funding for assisted living facilities.

As you’ll learn, though, you’ll still need to look into other options, as well.

What Do I Need to Qualify for an SBA 7(a)?

  • Your business must be listed as for-profit. SBA loans aren’t given to nonprofits.
  • It must be included in the list of eligible industries for SBA loans. (No problem there, as long as you’re looking to start a licensed assisted living facility or nursing home; only some residential care facilities are ineligible according to the SBA – but more on that later).
  • Invest (at least some of) your own equity. The SBA wants to see that you’re not strictly investing other people’s money.
  • Have net revenue each year for the past three years totaling less than $7.5 million.
  • Have fewer than 500 employees.
  • Have a net income lower than $5 million.
  • Have a tangible net worth less than $15 million.
  • Not be incarcerated or on parole.
  • Have utilized all alternate forms of financing first (like personal assets).
  • Plan to do business in the United States.
  • Have proof that you aren’t delinquent on any outstanding loans (like your mortgage, student loans, or automobile loans).

It might seem like a lot, but the gist of it is this: The SBA needs to know that you’re 1) actually operating a small business in the United States, and 2) able to repay the loan that you’re looking to take out.

How Do I Find an SBA 7(a) to Purchase an Assisted Living Facility?

First, as we mentioned briefly above, you need to exhaust all other financing options before you apply for an SBA 7(a) loan to buy an assisted living facility. SBA7a.Loans has a great guide on other non-SBA financing options for your small business – but most people end up needing extra money in the form of an SBA 7(a), anyway, after pursuing those other options.

But Where Do I Go to Get an SBA 7(a)?

You go to a lending institution, not the SBA. The SBA only guarantees loans that you take out from the bank. By guaranteeing the loan, the SBA ensures that, if you become delinquent, you’re covered for a certain amount of the loan. For a standard 7(a), that’s 85% on any loan up to $150k and 75% for loans greater than $150k.

The Top 10 Lenders for the SBA 7(a) – Assisted Living Facility Financing

Here are the top 10 Lenders for the SBA 7(a) by number of loans and total loan volume according to the US Small Business Administration as of June 30, 2019:

  1. Live Oak Bank – 692 Approved Loans – ~$1 billion
  2. Wells Fargo – 2,316 Approved Loans – $619 million
  3. Huntington National Bank – 2,731 Approved Loans – $500 million
  4. Newtek Small Business Finance – 679 Approved Loans – $467 million
  5. Byline Bank – 342 Approved Loans – $407 million
  6. Celtic Bank Corporation – 584 Approved Loans – $368 million
  7. JPMorgan Chase Bank – 1,428 Approved Loans – $361 million
  8. First Home Bank – 1,185 Approved Loans – $304 million
  9. US Bank – 1,976 Approved Loans – $288 million
  10. KeyBank – 389 Approved Loans – $217 million

If you’re looking for a loan to buy an assisted living facility, these are fantastic resources. Each link leads to the bank’s webpage on opening small business credit lines. Even if one lender doesn’t like your business plan, you’ll have plenty of other options.

It’s best to start with the banks that already give out the most SBA 7(a) loans before you target the smaller banks. Or, if you’re looking to get approved for a larger loan, you might want to look for the banks with a small “Approved Loan” count to loan volume ratio, like Live Oak, NewTek, Byline, Celtic, and KeyBank.

When I’m Applying for an SBA 7(a) with a Lender, What Information Do I Need?

So you made it this far, up to the point where you’re ready to meet with a lender to discuss whether or not they’ll finance your assisted living facility. But you’re worried: What do I need to bring to the table? What information are most lenders looking for?

This is a difficult question to answer because it’s going to change from lender to lender. For the most part, though, lenders are going to want to know the following:

  • Your credit score. Your credit score is literally a numeric value that determines how likely you are to pay back a loan. When you’re taking out a business loan, the bank is obviously going to want to know that you’re personally responsible with your credit. That’s why having a good credit score is important when you’re looking for assisted living facility loans.
  • Business plan. Lenders will also want to see a carefully laid-out strategy for the next few years, likely including an executive summary, business overview (legal structure, location, type of business, etc), an operations plan, a competitive analysis, and so on. Most importantly, you’ll need a projections analysis so that lenders know when and how you plan to repay them.
  • Collateral. While it isn’t 100% necessary, it’s always good to show that you have skin in the game; that you’re willing to put your own assets on the line.
  • Profitability. You’ll also need to show, of course, that your business has significant revenue (above $100k per year) and is profitable.

What Exact Documents Will I Need?

If this all sounds too complicated, just keep this in mind: Your loan officer is there to help.

Generally, at a minimum, you should expect to provide three years of business and personal tax returns, as well as current financial statements. As we’ve mentioned time and time again, though, this will vary from lender to lender, and some lenders will weigh certain factors over others.

Go to one of the SBA-approved lenders mentioned above and ask about SBA loans for assisted living facilities. The loan officer is there to help, and he’s probably the best resource you have. He’ll guide you through how to find and fill out all the paperwork you’ll need.

If you have a great business idea for a new assisted living facility but you aren’t familiar with all the jargon and minutiae that naturally comes along with starting a new business, that’s okay. Work with others to help fill in the missing gaps in your knowledge.

If you want, the SBA has an extensive eligibility questionnaire designed to help you figure out whether or not your assisted living facility qualifies for an SBA loan. As you’ll probably note on page two, not all residential care facilities qualify – only those that are licensed as nursing homes and assisted living facilities.This is almost undoubtedly just to secure a certain standard of care for consumers – when in doubt, ask the SBA whether or not you’ll qualify.

What Can I Do Today to Be One Step Closer to Funding an Assisted Living Facility?

Well, if you’re looking for practical advice that you can act on today, first, you can contact the Small Business Administration to ask them questions about your ability to qualify for an SBA 7(a) – or a different loan type.

Additionally, you can schedule a meeting with an SBA-approved lender in your area, like one of the ten we ranked above.

The SBA and SBA-approved loan officers both have a vested interest in loaning money to reputable businessmen and businesswomen with ambitious – yet reasonable – goals. Let them guide you.

Recap: Looking to Purchase an Assisted Living Facility? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The proportion of Americans 90 years or older is increasing every day – which means the demand for assisted living facilities is also increasing every day. If you’re looking to finance an assisted living facility, there’s never been a better day than today.

The SBA 7(a) is the most popular type of loan for financing assisted living facilities, but you’ll have to prove that you’ve tried other modes of financing, as well, before you qualify.

There can be any number of hoops to jump throw and paperwork to fill out before you actually qualify for an SBA 7(a), but the main two things the bank wants are this: 1) proof that you’re personally responsible enough to repay the loan, and 2) proof that your business can generate enough revenue to repay the loan.

As for exact paperwork, let the SBA help, along with any SBA-approved loan officer. It’s safe to say, though, that at a minimum you’ll need three years of business and personal tax returns as well as updated and current financial statements.

If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns, make sure to contact us. We’ll help you find ways to purchase an assisted living facility.