Assisted Living facilities are a wildly popular alternative to nursing homes for some Virginia families. Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) are usually paid for privately and rarely will accept Medicaid or Medicare for payment.

Many purport to provide medical care, with doctors and nurses on staff. Other still offer memory units for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, as well as therapy programs for those with physical disabilities.

Please, while reading ALF brochures and visiting facilities, do not be dooped by the amazing amenities and services offered. ALFs ARE NOT, yes I repeat, NOT Health care providers in Virginia. They have no LEGAL DUTY to provide health care. They may contract to provide these services, but are not required to under Virginia law.

They aren’t even monitored or licensed by the Department of Health. Rather, they are monitored by the Department of Social Services.

So, before you decide that this lower level of care is appropriate for your loved one, know the facts. Many people thrive at ALFs, but sadly, others do not and may need more pointed skilled nursing care.

ALFS are like college dorms. They agree to provide a place to live, meals, etc. – the other services are great, but not required.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at