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Be aware: `Assisted living’ facilities are not licensed

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Be very wary before signing a lease at an assisted living facility.

According to Brad Geller, an attorney with Michigan Center for Law and Aging, assisted living is merely a

“marketing term.” These facilities are not licensed or regulated in Michigan.

“If a housing unit is advertised as assisted living, that essentially means nothing,” he said. “Take no

comfort in a housing unit advertised as such. The `assistance’ could include very basic service, such as

sheet washing.”

In Michigan, he said only nursing homes, adult foster care and homes for the aged are licensed. Services

offered at those facilities, he said, are overseen by consumer protection and other state laws.

To protect oneself, Geller strongly suggested those interested in an assisted living facility conduct a very

thorough investigation to determine exactly what the facility offers its residents. Begin with a site visit,

he recommended.

Meet with management and learn which services are covered under the monthly fee and which are not.

Obtain a list of other services offered, the additional fees and analyze what is being offered and the cost

before signing on the dotted line, Geller said.

“The range of services provided by an assisted living center vary widely,” he said, recommending

interested parties choose the one that best suits their needs and budget.

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