Assisted Living Facilities

39734560-xsHouston Assisted Living Facilities. Many people think that “assisted living facility” and “nursing home” are synonymous, but in truth, they are two considerably different types of facilities. Residents of nursing homes generally require a high level of supervision and 24-hour access to nursing care. Residents of assisted living facilities usually are in better health for their ages and can perform many daily tasks with little to no help. Assisted living facilities may offer many of the same services as nursing homes, but for the most part residents are expected to function with higher degree of independence.

For example, residents of an assisted living facility might require help with bathing or managing their medications, but could otherwise be independent throughout the day with minimal supervision. Some residents of assisted living facilities are even  physically and mentally capable of performing such tasks as cooking their own meals, and driving. Some minor nursing supervision may be  necessary, but their immediate health needs are not pressing enough to require constant access to a licensed nurse.  In fact, many assisted living facilities do not have licensed nurses on duty at all times, or even at all.  Some assisted living facilities are located in the same complex as nursing homes, meaning that residents of the assisted living facility can transfer to the nursing home if their needs increase.

The services provided by an assisted living facility will be spelled out in exact detail in the contract.  The services a nursing home provides is governed by state and federal regulations.  Services that may be included in the fees charged by a nursing home may cost extra at an assisted living facility, if they are available at all. Some services – including the provision of at least two meals a day, a check-in system, weekly housekeeping, and help with bathing, dressing, and other daily tasks – must be made available in order for a residence to call itself an “assisted living facility.”   Nursing home abuse attorney Marian S. Rosen of Rosen & Spears strongly encourages anyone in search of a permanent residence that caters to the needs of the elderly to identify his or her needs before signing a contract. Know exactly what the facility offers and whether it is appropriate to your needs or the needs of your loved one. Make sure that any questions you have are satisfactorily answered before you sign, and assume that if a service is not included in writing in your contract that you or your loved one will not have access to that service.  It is also very important that you review the contract carefully, seeking out the counsel of a qualified nursing home attorney if necessary

Throughout the country, in smaller communities and in large cities such as Houston, assisted living facilities must be carefully researched in order to confirm that they are not using their statuses simply to circumvent regulations for nursing homes. It is important to note that residents of assisted living facilities are generally afforded fewer protections under the law than residents of nursing homes. Be sure you know exactly what sort of residence you or your elderly loved ones are moving into before making any commitments.

If you have any questions about assisted living facilities or are in need of an elder abuse or wrongful death attorney, please call or email the law firm of Rosen & Spears today.

Tagged with: Nursing Home Abuse Personal Injury Wrongful Death

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About the Author: Marian Rosen