The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs announced proposed new rules for the state’s assisted living residences, which may go into effect as soon as January 2015. Among other changes, the proposed rules would prohibit assisted living residences from accepting or retaining residents who require more than 90 consecutive days of skilled nursing care.

The changes to the state’s regulations for assisted living residences would be the first since 2006. In addition to prohibiting assisted living residences from accepting residents who require months of skilled nursing care, the proposed rules would require annual evacuation drills and increased training for staffers. Mandatory education for staffers would include recognizing and reporting elder abuse as well as techniques for dealing with aggressive behavior.

Providers that operate assisted living residences in Massachusetts should closely monitor the proposed rules, as they could go into effect as soon as next month.

A public hearing will take place on December 15 and public comments are being accepted until December 17. A redline of the proposed changes is available here