Top Ten Things Assisted Living Facilities Will Not Tell You By on January 19, 2012

According to an article in Smart Magazine, the following are ten things an assisted living facility may not tell  you:

  1. "We promise more than we deliver."  Her point is that assisted living facilities often promote themselves as a long term alternative to nursing homes, however, they are not equipped to care for frail and sickly seniors.  Most assisted living facilities residents will ultimately need to be transferred to a nursing home.
  2. "We can raise our prices at any time."  Before signing the dotted line, you should read the contract carefully to see all the supplemental expenses and to see if the facility has the right to raise its prices at any time.
  3. "Our staff has very little training."  You do not have to be a nurse or even a certified nurse's aid (CNA) to work in an assisted living facility.
  4. "Medication errors are common and our pharmacy charges too much."  I certainly have seen multiple examples of residents suffering severe injuries after receiving another resident's medications.
  5. "We face scant regulation."  This is certainly true in Virginia where assisted living facilities are very loosely regulated especially compared to nursing homes.
  6. "You're practically on your own at night." Understaffing is a significant problem in both assisted living facilities and nursing homes
  7. "You may have to hire a private-duty nurse, too."
  8. "We stop spending once our beds are full."
  9. "Practically anyone can hang an assisted-living shingle."  Did you know in Virginia facilities with less than 5 people do not even need to be licensed?
  10. "Check your dignity at the door."  Every person, especially our seniors deserve to be treated with dignity.

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