Can Assisted Living Facilities Provide Care to Residents with Greater Needs?

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Elder Law

Can Assisted Living Facilities Provide Care to Residents with Greater Needs?

In today’s busy world, with people working full-time jobs and starting and taking care of their own families, it sometimes becomes difficult to provide senior citizens with the companionship and assistance they need. Not all older adults require round-the-clock medical treatment, and many are self-reliant, which means that they, and their adult children, may turn to assisted living facilities as opposed to nursing homes to relieve loneliness or boredom that may set in while family members are at work or school.

Adequate Care Provided to All Residents?

Many assisted living centers offer a home-like atmosphere with various activities that allow residents to socialize with one another. Additionally, seniors can get help with daily tasks such as feeding, bathing, and administering medication, but they also have the independence to take care of things that they can do on their own.

However, are these facilities equipped to provide adequate service to residents who have greater needs?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question seems to be “no.” Assisted living facilities are not bound by the same regulations as nursing homes. For instance, they are not licensed or overseen by the federal government. Also, many states have very limited rules regarding their operation.

When a resident has a health condition such as dementia or needs help walking, assisted living facilities don’t typically have the staff or resources to reasonably provide care for these individuals. Whereas a nursing home might have health care professionals on staff to deliver 24-hour assistance to residents who need it, an assisted living center may have overnight employees, but not necessarily enough to help all the residents living there.

Lawsuits Filed Against Assisted Living Facilities

Recently, civil action has been taken against assisted living facilities where residents suffered harm because of inadequate monitoring. In 2018, a California man suffered heatstroke and died because he was left outside in his wheelchair as temperatures jumped into the mid-90s. In South Carolina, a woman with dementia had wandered off the grounds of her assisted living home. Eight hours later, her remains were found in a nearby pond, and her pacemaker was found inside an alligator. In another case, a California woman with dementia was living in a facility that had a memory care unit that was supposed to provide closer monitoring to patients with the disease. Unfortunately, the woman had fallen 3 times within 30 days of being there, breaking several bones.

Sadly, assisted living facilities lack proper staffing, training, and federal or state monitoring, which makes them ill-equipped for providing long-term care to residents who need more assistance.

Contact Brown & Barron, LLC for Legal Representation

Because some senior citizens may require more care than an assisted living center may be able to provide, such facilities should not accept individuals who have medical conditions that require close monitoring. Administrators should adequately assess a potential resident’s needs and determine if it has the resources to provide the necessary care. If it does not, it should give honest answers to families; otherwise, its actions could be considered negligent, and it should be held responsible for ensuing harm.

If your loved one was injured at an assisted living facility because of staff negligence, you might be able to pursue a claim to hold the center liable and recover compensation for damages. Our attorneys have over 75 years of experience, and we will be dedicated to advocating on your behalf.

Schedule a free initial consultation by calling us at (410) 698-1717 or contacting us online.

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