The group of non-traditional facilities that represents themselves as quality caregivers continues to rapidly expand in connection with our growing elderly population. Facilities such as: assisted living facilities, group homes and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) are playing a larger role in the care for some of these particularly vulnerable people.
Many elderly are drawn to these nursing-home-alternative facilities because they may provide increased independence and an alternative to the generic qualities associated with large nursing homes.
Are patients well suited for alternative care facilities?
Despite their ever expanding numbers, many of the assisted living facilities, group homes and residential care facilities for the elderly are not simply not intended to provide a substitute for the type of care that is available at nursing homes or hospitals. Further, as opposed to nursing homes, many of these alternative care facilities operate with little or no regulation compared with nursing homes—thereby putting some residents at the mercy of the operator of the facility.
Any person, who has a medical condition that minimizes their movement, such as those confined to a wheelchair or bed, can be at risk for pressure sores. If a caregiver is needed to move or transfer the individual, there may be times where they are left in the same position for hours at a time if they are not attentive. Since pressure sores are easier to prevent than to treat, it is important that a trained caregiver be able to move and reposition the individual as often as needed as well as make sure they are kept dry, hydrated and in good nutritional health. This is a 24-hour job, which may be more than some group homes, assisted living or alternative care services can provide.
Although it is understandable that many elderly want to keep their independence, they still need to make sure they are getting the care they need. Pressure sores and other inflictions can happen fairly quickly, and if they are in the wrong hands, it could be putting their health at risk.
Lack of formal regulations for ALF’s
Even without extensive regulations, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities and group homes cannot sit by as their patients deteriorate or develop pressure sores. Moreover, when patients require more care than the facility is capable of providing, the facility has a duty to advise the individual and the family of their need and suggest a transfer to a more appropriate long-term care facility.
In Illinois, as of December 31, 2011, there were 303 licensed assisted living/shared housing facilities in the state. These have over 13,000 units and have very few licensing and regulations guiding them, unless they offer Alzheimer patient care. Although these facilities may be suitable for some elderly and disabled, it is important to remember that many do not give medical care, only help with Assistance in Daily Living (ADL).
Legal assistance for those who have been neglected at an assisted living facility
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers understands the various licensing requirement applicable to all type of long-term care arrangements and use the regulations for the benefits of our clients in lawsuits against these facilities. If your family member developed a pressure sore during a stay at an assisted living facility or other institutional setting, we would honor the opportunity to discuss your legal rights. Our Illinois pressure sore attorneys offer complimentary consultations and never charge a fee unless there is a recovery for you.
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