State regulations for assisted living help protect seniors from substandard care. 2012 ushered in significant reforms in many states, but we’ve still got work to do in 2013 and beyond.
Assisted living facilities, unlike nursing homes, are regulated at the state level rather than federally—so reforms to state law are critical to the improvement of senior care. Properly implemented reforms protect residents and senior living companies alike, as well as addressing problems within the assisted living system. In 2012, a wide range of new state regulations meant changes to training requirements, employee background checks, medication management, Medicaid eligibility, and more.
Navigating the maze of regulatory changes can be a challenge for consumers. Fortunately, Argentum (formerly the Assisted Living Federation of America) provides a State & Regulatory Snapshot of changes to legislation and regulations in each state throughout 2012. Even a quick glance shows that we’ve made a lot of progress in improving deficiencies in assisted living, while also taking a stand against some “reforms” that might have been potentially harmful.
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Here are some of the significant trends we noticed in the Argentum Snapshot for 2012:
Argentum also assesses the Top Ten Deficiencies in the assisted living system each year, and this gives us a road map for where we still need to improve on the care provided to seniors. The 2012 report shows that while many states made progress with respect to meeting level of care requirements, improving background checks, and investigating and preventing abuse and neglect, some areas still need attention.
Rather alarmingly, the most common issue was medication administration—from failing to discard expired medicines to incorrectly documenting the administration of medication. Staff training and emergency preparedness continue to make the top 10 list of deficiencies, despite some positive regulatory changes in 2012. Argentum also reports widespread issues with resident admission requirements, resident assessment, and administrative recordkeeping.
A Place for Mom can help you find reliable senior care that complies with state laws and regulations. Our directory listings provide up-to-date information on member communities, and our advisors are available by e-mail or phone to answer your questions.