Courses for assisted living managers may be offered as part of certificate-only programs or through bachelor's or master's degree programs in health care management, public administration, gerontology or a related field. Most states require individuals to complete an internship and pass an exam before they can become licensed assisted living managers.
Certification requirements for assisted living managers and administrators depend on individual state licensing boards and agencies, and the length of assisted living manager certificate programs may also vary, depending on the overall goal of the program. Programs at many colleges and universities only offer a professional certificate of completion to improve skills and marketability, which may be able to be completed in as little as four to five classes. Topics explored in coursework can be found below:
- Assisted living philosophy
- Stages of cognitive decline
- Infection control procedures
- Admission and discharge
- Food safety
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List of Courses
Introduction to Assisted Living and the Health Care System Course
Introductory courses are taken at the beginning of the certificate program because they provide an overview of the basics. Students learn the history of the U.S. health care system as well as the standards for care. Common health care settings and the structure of the system are also examined. While some introductory courses focus specifically on long-term care facilities, others focus on health care in general.
The Aging Process Course
Students enrolled in the aging process course gain an understanding of the health developments that come with age. Comparison of normal progression and irregular changes provides insight into a variety of medical issues, their effect on caregivers and their handling. Specific course topics include behavioral changes, mental health, dementia, Alzheimer's and end of life care.
Operations, Finances and Management Course
Managers of any type need to have knowledge of all aspects of their business. Operations and finance are two topics often discussed in one overview course on assisted living management, but many certificate programs offer separate classes in order to provide more in-depth information on each. Students learn the basics of managing a health care facility through discussions of financial and legal risk management, resident admittance, care and discharge, acceptable business practices and budgeting. Students investigate the structure of long-term care organizations and learn more about specific departments and personnel at the facilities.
Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care Course
Legal and ethical standards are not the same thing, so certificate candidates examine both. Students explore laws related to long-term care and health care administration, typically through case studies. This may include local regulations, making it important for distance-learning students to find programs in their area. Ethics studies include learning about handling organizational, management and care issues in an ethical manner.
Human Resources Course
Later in the certificate program, students may take a course in human resources management and strategies for the health care field. Candidates investigate the process of staffing, specifically how to properly determine needs and develop a workforce in a facility.