When assisted living works the way it is supposed to, it is a life saver. Our elderly family members get the care and support they need and we get to devote more our time to making their lives happy.

Most Assisted Living Facilities Are Great

The good news is that, for the most part, assisted living facilities are well run and the people who look after our loved ones genuinely care.

No-one wants to lose their independence, but, if we have to go into assisted living, we at least want to be surrounded by gentle, competent staff.

But, There Are a Few Bad Apples

Unfortunately, while the majority of assisted living facilities are well-run, there are always going to be a few rotten apples in the barrel!

“No problem!” You may be thinking. “Surely, there is a federal agency that is in charge of certifying assisted living facilities. The bad apples are probably discovered quickly their residents sent to new homes.”

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Specifically, while facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid are required to meet certain standards, for the most part, it is up to the states to regulate their own nursing homes.

When it Comes to Monitoring Assisted Living Facilities, Are the States Asleep at the Wheel?

Unfortunately, as reported by AARP, the U.S. Government Accountability Office recently confirmed that 26 states could not even tell investigators how many cases of abuse or neglect occurred in the facilities under their supervision.

So, you have to ask yourself… if these states could not even say how many cases of neglect or abuse occurred, how could they possibly be protecting residents to the best of their ability?

Until the Law Changes, it’s Up to Us

Since most of us want to find an assisted living facility that is close to home, we have to rely on our own state regulators to keep our loved ones safe. We can’t just move our parents to a state with better monitoring. Well, we could, but, that would come with major trade-offs!

As a result, we need to be extra careful when it comes to choosing a facility close to home.

For starters, we can look for signs of abuse among residents when we visit each assisted living facility.

Do the residents seem nervous or scared around the staff? Do any of the residents have bruises or other injuries that cannot be adequately explained? Are the residents hidden away when you visit? What is the facility’s policy on restraints? These are just a few of the questions that we should ask.

We can also contact our state representatives and tell them that we want them to do more to monitor and deal with abuses at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Let’s get involved and make a difference!

Do you think that the states should do more to track and prevent neglect and abuse at nursing homes and assisted living facilities? Why or why not? Let’s have a conversation!

Let's Have a Conversation!