Pitfalls and Concerns in Assisted Living Facilities
Despite the fact that assisted living facilities offer a great service for older adults who want to live independently while receiving some assistance with their activities of daily living, there are many problems associated these facilities, including a number of safety and quality concerns. Following are some major issues:
Many elderly residents need to take multiple medications. It is important that these medications should be administered on time and in the right dose. Overdose or failing to take medication on time could cause severe health problems or even death. Therefore, the assisted living facility must know all the medication taken by each resident, including both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. It should also have an organized system for storing and administering the medication.
All assisted living centers are supposed to have CCTV coverage of their premises. Additionally, they should check photo IDs of the visitors as they check in and should not allow residents to leave the center on their own. When an assisted living facility fails to do all these, itâ€™s a major cause of concern.
Slips and Falls
If flooring and carpet are not maintained properly, they pose a fall hazard. Additionally, rugs also can become a fall hazard if they are not secured properly. As people ages, bones lose minerals like calcium more quickly than the body can replace them. This causes their bones to be fragile and brittle. So falls can be extremely dangerous for older adults.
Lack of Accountability
Some assisted living centers are highly understaffed and poorly managed. Chances of resident abuse and neglect are very high in such facilities. Before choosing an assisted living facility, you should check whether the staff members at the facility are maintaining the workplace and if they appear overstressed or overworked.
Obstructions in Walking Areas
Walkways in senior care facilities must always be free of clutter or obstructions. If there are things like unattended carts or unused wheelchairs, that could be a problem for the residents.
Poorly lit Areas
Risk of falls can be substantially increased by poor lighting. Unfortunately, there are several assisted living facilities with outdated lighting system which doesnâ€™t allow older adults to see well. You must be careful in such things while choosing an assisted living center for your loved one.
Emergency Alert Systems
In a good assisted living facility, residents should be allowed to call for assistance at any time. There should be emergency pull cords in all bathrooms and call buttons near each bed. Make sure that your assisted living facility has all these.
Protocols for Dealing with Abuse
It is a fact that abuse is a great risk in all senior care centers including assisted living facilities. Before putting your loved one into an assisted living facility, ask how it deals with abuse issues and allegations. You may also check with the Office of the Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman to know if there are stories suggesting the facility you are tracking has a history of resident abuse.