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Assisted Living Facilities: Know the Facts Before Choosing

When the time comes for an elderly loved one to be placed in the care of professionals at a facility, diligence and attention to all details should go into the selection. Many family members research and visit countless nursing homes and long-term care centers to find the best fit that provides everyone involved in the process peace of mind.

Yet, far too many times, a lack of oversight in far too many of these care centers results in serious and fatal injuries.

Higher Risks. Lower Regulations.

Nursing homes were once the common destination for those whose significant needs required a higher level of care. Residents and their loved ones were secure in the knowledge that these places had to abide by strict and enforceable federal government regulations.

Yet, whether it involves costs or convenience, families are sidestepping nursing homes in favor of assisted living facilities best known for housing healthier occupants without as many regulations.

The lack of oversight in assisted living centers shows with countless accusations of neglect and abuse. Oversedating residents, providing antipsychotics without consent, and infestations of lice are only the beginning of a much larger problem.

The incidents are not isolated. Residents who call these places home are suffering from a significant lack of care. Equally frustrating is the fact that citations and fines are less of a financial burden than taking the time and resources to conduct required annual staff training.

Whether considering an assisted living facility or following the placement of a loved one, research is important. That starts with the facility’s state inspection reports that can provide a complete story. Frequent on-site visits provide a “bird’s eye” view at best of the surroundings and culture.

Interiors may look clean and well-attended, yet under that sheen could be signs of neglect and abuse. From counting the number of staff on duty and how they interact to noticing any malodorous smells or distressful sounds from residents may tell a much different story.

It could be a tale with a less than happy ending.


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