Assisted living facilities provide residential care for seniors in need of supportive services. Long-term care in these facilities usually includes a combination of housing, support services and health care as well as medical management and assistance with daily activities and transportation. Because assisted living facilities provide a variety of services, jobs responsibilities vary in practice and scope.
Administrative staff includes facility directors, financial officers and staff in human resources and public relations offices. These employees usually report to a board of directors and frequently do not have direct contact with residents. In larger facilities there may be many assistant administrators who report to the top administrator and deal with daily decisions in specific departments such as nursing or therapy. In smaller facilities, a few lead administrators handle these details, managing personnel, finances, admissions and operations of the facility.
Medical staff in assisted living facilities usually include doctors, nurses and nursing aides. Medical staff, particularly nursing aides, spend the most time with residents providing direct care. This work can involve assisting residents with activities of daily living such as bathing or eating and medicine management. Because many residential facilities provide around-the-clock care, many of these workers work nontraditional hours such as nights and weekends. Some facilities may also have a registered dietitian to help with meal planning and to keep track of residents' dietary needs.
Mental Health Care
Psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, social workers and therapists can also be employed by assisted living facilities. Usually, these mental health professionals have expertise in geriatrics and mental health issues common among the elderly, including Alzheimer’s disease and memory problems. Mental health or wellness staff can also include recreational or activities therapists. These professionals provide programs for residents that include exercise, mental stimulation, creativity and many types of recreation.
Assisted living facilities often provide meals, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation services. Some of these positions can require non-specialized training, including certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or personal care assistants (PCAs). These jobs provide important basic daily services and support to residents.