Author: Andrea Miller
Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

Yes, assisted living can administer insulin as long as state regulations permit. Communities must also follow staff training and certification requirements. However, rules may vary for fixed or sliding-scale insulin doses. Even when state laws allow facilities to offer specified health care services, communities don’t usually have an obligation to provide them.

State Regulations

Although provisions vary widely, most states regulate medication administration — including insulin — in assisted living facilities. Regulations typically cover whether facilities can offer such services, which staff members can administer medications, staff training, medication storage and resident care plans. Most also mandate that facilities have clear medication management plans. For example, in Idaho, a facility’s registered nurses can delegate insulin administration and measuring sliding-scale doses to unlicensed assistive personnel, often known as nursing aides or assistants.  

Conversely, where Utah’s facilities have licenses to provide nursing services, the facility’s registered nurse can administer injections or delegate responsibility to a licensed practical nurse. Other staff may only provide medication reminders and open containers. Only appropriately skilled professionals can administer insulin injections in California, and although Texas permits the delegation of certain health maintenance activities to personal care staff in assisted living communities, it specifically excludes insulin injections.

Facility Policies

When state regulations allow facilities to administer insulin through trained staff members, the facility’s management can generally choose whether to offer such services. If a facility doesn’t provide insulin administration services, residents must be able to self-administer injections or contract with an external nursing services provider. Many areas also allow family members to administer medications, although this isn’t usually a practical solution.

Because regulations and policies vary widely, seniors and their loved ones must check diabetes management and insulin administration services with individual facilities.