(1) This act may be cited as the “Assisted Living Facilities Act.”
(2) The purpose of this act is to promote the availability of appropriate services for elderly persons and adults with disabilities in the least restrictive and most homelike environment, to encourage the development of facilities that promote the dignity, individuality, privacy, and decisionmaking ability of such persons, to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of residents of assisted living facilities in the state, to promote continued improvement of such facilities, to encourage the development of innovative and affordable facilities particularly for persons with low to moderate incomes, to ensure that all agencies of the state cooperate in the protection of such residents, and to ensure that needed economic, social, mental health, health, and leisure services are made available to residents of such facilities through the efforts of the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Elderly Affairs, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Health, assisted living facilities, and other community agencies. To the maximum extent possible, appropriate community-based programs must be available to state-supported residents to augment the services provided in assisted living facilities. The Legislature recognizes that assisted living facilities are an important part of the continuum of long-term care in the state. In support of the goal of aging in place, the Legislature further recognizes that assisted living facilities should be operated and regulated as residential environments with supportive services and not as medical or nursing facilities. The services available in these facilities, either directly or through contract or agreement, are intended to help residents remain as independent as possible. Regulations governing these facilities must be sufficiently flexible to allow facilities to adopt policies that enable residents to age in place when resources are available to meet their needs and accommodate their preferences.
(3) The principle that a license issued under this part is a public trust and a privilege and is not an entitlement should guide the finder of fact or trier of law at any administrative proceeding or in a court action initiated by the Agency for Health Care Administration to enforce this part.