Independent Living: What is it and Who Regulates It?

Who regulates "independent living"?  A murky subject indeed.  This topic was misunderstood in the media's coverage of the Bayless story (See "Benefits of Bayless"). It was widely reported that Ms. Bayless lived in an Independent Living unit of the Brookdale Senior Living Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) in Bakersfield, and that Independent Living was not regulated if the independent living units were not part of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).  Au contraire. There is a variety of independent living models, some regulated, some not, so CARR thought this would be a good time to shine a spotlight on the topic.

While there are many resources available on the web that further explain the benefits and differences of each type, we hope the At A Glance chart  gives you an overview of the types, characteristics and associated regulatory agencies.  From CARR's perspective, it is simply important that you understand the type of independent housing options you have, and who, if anybody, has oversight over the housing option you are considering. 

It is important to note that so-called "independent living" units on the campus of a residential care facility for the elderly, or are part of a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) are, in fact, included in the 'licensed capacity' of the RCFE or CCRC.


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