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10 Things Assisted Living Facilities are Not Allowed to Do

Assisted living facilities are subject to regulations and standards that are designed to ensure the safety, well-being, and rights of residents of the facility.

Assisted living facilities are expected to uphold high standards of care, respect residents’ rights, and comply with applicable laws and regulations to maintain the health, safety, and dignity of their residents.

No doubt, the things that assisted living facilities are not allowed to do may vary from one country to another, and from one state to another.

In essence, there are certain things assisted living facilities can freely do in some locations, but in other locations, it will be illegal to do such.

Even though there may not be a uniform law or regulation governing what assisted living facilities are expected to do, it is important to note that generally, there are certain things that assisted living facilities can not do irrespective of where the assisted living facility is located, and that is what we will discuss in this article.

Things Assisted Living Facilities are Not Allowed to Do

  1. Discriminate

Generally, assisted living facilities cannot discriminate against residents based on factors such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, nationality, or source of payment.

Assisted living facilities must provide equal access to services and accommodations for all individuals seeking care, adhering to anti-discrimination laws and regulations to ensure fairness and equity in housing and care provision.

  1. Provide Medical Care Beyond Scope

An assisted living facility is a residential housing option for older adults or individuals with disabilities who need assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing, dressing, medication management, or meal preparation.

Based on that, they are not allowed by law to provide medical treatments or services beyond their licensed scope, such as surgeries or advanced medical procedures.

Doing so will mean going beyond their responsibility, and any assisted living facility that defaulted in this regard can be sanctioned.

  1. Administer Medications Improperly

In as much as assisted living facilities are empowered to carry out medication management for residents within their facility, staff cannot administer medications incorrectly or without proper authorization and training.

In essence, before an assisted living facility can legally offer medication management services, the staff responsible for such services must be trained to properly administer medications to residents.

  1. Neglect Residents

With the recent installation of hidden CCTV cameras in assisted living facilities, some assisted living facilities have been found guilty when it comes to neglecting or abusing residents within their care.

This is wrong and seriously frowned upon. Staff cannot physically, emotionally, or financially abuse or neglect residents.

In essence, assisted living facilities must ensure residents receive adequate care, including nutrition, hydration, and assistance with activities of daily living.

  1. Exploit Residents Financially

Residents of assisted living facilities usually pay as much as $4,500 per month, or $54,000 annually in the United States hence it would be wrong to still go ahead and exploit the residents. Assisted living facilities cannot exploit residents financially through coercion, deception, or unauthorized charges.

Of course, some assisted living homes usually pressure residents to purchase add-on services or products, engaging in deceptive billing practices, or failing to disclose hidden costs. Doing this is tantamount to exploiting the residents financially and it is wrong.

  1. Restrict Freedom of Residents

While some restrictions may be necessary for the safety and health of residents, such as rules regarding medication management or meal times, facilities generally cannot excessively restrict residents’ freedom without valid reasons or legal authority. Assisted living facilities must balance residents’ autonomy with ensuring their safety and well-being.

Residents have the right to make choices about their daily activities, social interactions, and personal preferences, within the bounds of safety and community rules. Restrictions should be reasonable, respectful, and designed to promote residents’ overall quality of life.

  1. Provide Inadequate Living Conditions to Residents

The fact that most residents who live in assisted living facilities are incapacitated, and their family members may not always be around to monitor their living conditions does not give assisted living facilities the right to provide inadequate living conditions for them.

Providing inadequate living conditions to residents means failing to maintain a safe, clean, and sanitary environment. This includes issues such as insufficient hygiene practices, neglected maintenance, inadequate nutrition or hydration, lack of appropriate medical care, or safety hazards that may put residents at risk of harm or discomfort.

Generally, assisted living facilities must maintain safe, clean, and sanitary living environments for residents at all times.

  1. Violate Privacy Rights of Residents

Residents’ privacy is such a big deal and any attempt to violate it will attract consequences. Assisted living facilities cannot violate residents’ privacy rights, such as:

Entering rooms without permission, searching personal belongings without consent, disclosing personal information without authorization, or monitoring residents without valid reasons or legal authority.

The consequences of violating residents’ privacy rights may include legal action, fines, penalties, lawsuits, loss of licensure, reputational damage, and potential closure of the facility.

  1. Fail to Report Incidents

The occurrence of several incidents in an assisted living facility cannot be ruled out. In some cases, these incidents can be severe, and damaging hence it is important for an assisted living facility to always report incidents that happened under their roof to the appropriate authority at all times.

Failure to do this can attract sanction from the regulating authority especially if things go bad. Facilities must promptly report incidents of abuse, neglect, or accidents involving residents to appropriate authorities.

You must report incidents such as abuse, neglect, accidents, altercations, medication errors, emergencies like a fire, unauthorized access, equipment malfunctions, changes in residents’ health or behavior, and violations of facility policies or regulations.

  1. Fail to Provide Adequate Training to Staff Members

Assisted living facilities are not allowed to assign job responsibilities to new employees without first providing them with the required training.

All employees of an assisted living facility must receive proper training to meet residents’ needs and ensure their safety and well-being.

If you run an assisted living facility, you are expected to train your employees in areas such as resident care, medication administration, emergency response procedures, infection control practices, resident rights and privacy, communication skills, safety protocols, abuse prevention, cultural sensitivity, and documentation requirements.