Challenges in Assisted Living
STAFFING SHORTAGES TIED TO DANGEROUS CONDITIONS
With nearly 29,000 assisted living communities in the United States, choosing the right one often presents a difficult process for seniors and their loved ones. Factors like location, size, and services can help narrow down the search. Further challenges may arise once the decision is made. Senior residents are reporting dangerous disparities between the care they are promised and the care they receive when they move. A class action lawsuit against the management of 16 California assisted living facilities alleged that after paying a hefty membership fee and completing a pre-admission assessment questionnaire, seniors were placed in residences that were not staffed appropriately to meet many of the needs reflected in the assessment. A similar class action was filed against an Illinois health care provider, where a shortage of nurses, dietary staff, and therapists led to instances of neglect, injury, and dangerous health conditions. Inadequate staffing is alleged in a significant number of nursing home neglect cases. To ensure that current and future care needs will be met, the Better Business Bureau suggests that older adults start the search process as early as age 60, consult medical professions and a local long-term care ombudsman about the reputation of the facility being considered, and carefully review contracts for limitations on the right to file a lawsuit. See more of their tips here.