Assisted Living Association of South Dakota (ALASD)
             Newsletter October/November/December  2015 
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After many requests to have member's email addresses added to the news letter,
the association has decided the newsletter and all correspondence from the ALASD will go to the administrator listed on your application. 

The administrator may share this with any of their staff they feel would benefit from the information.






Chairman: Steve Vande Kop  

Vice Chairman: Nathan Gellhaus  

Treasurer: Allen Svennes 

Secretary: Kim Eggert 

Western Region Rep: Kristen Maddux  

Central Region  Rep: Jo Wulf 

Northeastern Region Rep: Vicky Maag

Southeastern Region Rep: Brandy Fiala 

Member at Large: Colette Broekemeier 

Administravite Director: Lethia Marienau 





Hope this finds everyone well during this unbelievable fall weather. We know winter is coming but a nice long fall makes the winter so much shorter. I am sure you have all been quite busy running your operations since it is the time of year that people take some concern about winter conditions and how to deal  with them. Our business is a strong one and we all look forward to the future.
I first of all want to thank all of the people who did so much to make this year’s Fall Conference such a success. We had a great time in Aberdeen and we had many comments about the success of the efforts put into it. Next year the conference will be held in Pierre and we may make a few changes to the agenda. But even though that is a ways off the staff have started making plans. Any additional input you have regarding the conference is certainly welcome.
We have received a good response on the Medicaid survey that was sent out to all assisted livings in South Dakota. I will start to compile this and come up with some solid data on costs of operation. It was interesting that there was a wide range of costs per day of different facilities through the State, but there is no question that Medicaid reimbursement just isn’t cutting it in South Dakota. I will get this data processed and we will see that it is distributed to all of the legislators in the State. I will have this information out before the next Legislative session starts in Pierre.
We have put together a committee to look into the possibility of adding Home Health Providers to our association. These providers have no representation in South Dakota as of present so we are going to see if there would be an interest in these agencies joining with us in dealing with the issues they face each day. Because these providers face much different issues that we as assisted living providers do, we would create a separate division of ALASD specifically addressing their needs. We will keep you informed as to how things are progressing in this area.
Well, enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts.
Steve Vande Kop



South Dakota Department of Health will no longer accept the AL administrator’s certificate from Senior Living University due to the lack of maintaining current standards of practice. National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is reviewing resource options at this point, but they would not recommend any Senior Living University resources. At this time the SD Department of Health will only allow the AL administrator’s certificate from Easy CEU.

Should you have any questions, please contact Deb Carlson at or 605-995-8073.



Thanks, Deb



Holiday decorations in health care facilities     


As the holiday season approaches; we receive a number of inquiries regarding the use of decorations. The Life Safety Code (Section prohibits the use of combustible decorations. Untreated Christmas trees are considered to be a highly flammable decoration. The South Dakota Department of Health, Office of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification, will allow the use of live trees in health care facilities with the following precautions:
  Live cut trees must be flocked with a fire retardant.
  A staff person must be designated to water the tree.
  Live cut trees should be limited to one per building.
  Live cut trees may be in the building only between the dates of December 7, 2015 and January 2, 2016.
  The tree must be located in a room that can be closed off from corridors, e.g. a dining room or lounge, and closely supervised by staff.
  The tree should be located near sprinkler heads or smoke detectors, if possible.
  Lights on trees should be unplugged at night. All lights used on trees must be UL listed. UL 588.
  The use of small trees with fiber optic lights is acceptable, but check for a UL listing mark on the device.
  Lights may be installed on the exterior of the building and on outside trees and shrubs. Exterior lighting circuits must have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection.
  Wrapping paper and plastic film is very combustible and may only be used to decorate up to thirty percent of the area of a resident room door.
  The use of untreated live greens, including wreaths made from live greens, for decoration inside the building is prohibited.
We wish you a safe holiday season.

Should you have any questions regarding the above information, please contact the Office of Health Care Facilities Licensure and Certification at (605) 773-3356 or email


Compendium Compares State Assisted Living Regulations and Policy


New government data is available on states’ residential care setting regulations through a new compendium from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Based on a 2012 study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, the United States has an estimated 22,200 residential care settings with 713,300 residents. Just over half of the settings with 50 or more beds had a dementia care program and 52 percent were certified to receive Medicaid payments.

Although states generally have provisions covering the same areas--such as staff training--their requirements vary considerably, the compendium executive summary notes. For example, 40 states require direct care worker training, but the number of required training hours ranges from one to 80.

The compendium notes similarities and differences among states and provides examples from state regulations. There are also differences among state definitions. For example, a few states regulate assisted living as a service, using the terms “assisted living agency” such as in Connecticut or “assisted living services” such as in Minnesota.

To peruse the compendium executive summary or to access the full report, visit the website of ASPE, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.









This was such a success last year we are doing it again!!!!!


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