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Are Assisted Living Facilities Regulated?

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Recent retirees and caregivers for elderly parents may be considering a transition into an assisted living community. Before making a big move, it’s vital to research what supports are in place to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy and safe.

When choosing the right community, family members should consider all the details, including your loved one’s personal safety, wellbeing, and the community’s compliance with government regulations.

Assisted living communities have specific guidelines to follow to ensure the security and happiness of their residents.

At Mattison Crossing, we believe that residents and their families should have access to all the essential information surrounding government regulations and our community. We want our community members to feel protected, knowing their comfort and safety are our top priority. 

State-Run Regulations

If you’re a retiree who requires additional support in your day-to-day life, assisted living may suit your needs. Most assisted living communities offer accommodations, personalized assistance, and health care services.

 In an assisted living community, nurses and nursing aides offer round-the-clock care for the activities of daily living (ADLs). You’ll receive support in areas like:

  • Hygiene
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Nutrition and meals
  • Cleaning
  • Home maintenance
  • Health
  • Mobility 

Assisted living communities are state-regulated. Regulations and procedures are different for each state, and every community must have the correct state licenses to operate and provide care to their residents. 

The state health department or social services sets and monitors regulations, and most are centered around nursing and food services. 

Some assisted living communities are Medicaid certified. These communities are regulated and rated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency that monitors nursing homes and skilled nursing centers. 

If you’re interested in learning more about a retirement community and its regulations, consider doing some online research. You may find report cards, reviews by current and past residents, and information about the community’s standards.

A female nurse talking to a female patient in an assisted living home

Enforcing Regulations

You’ll be heartened to know that assisted living communities are subject to frequent audits to ensure they meet regulations. The state government strives to provide for the well-being of every resident in senior living. 

Unannounced and scheduled inspections help determine if a community follows proper protocols, rules, and procedures. A failed review can result in penalties like monetary fines.  

Licensing and audit history can occasionally be found online. If you’re researching a community for yourself or a loved one, this information can help you make an informed decision.

What is Safeguarding? 

In 2014, the United Kingdom developed the Care Act, and defined safeguarding as “protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.”

6 principles within the Care Act apply to safeguarding: 

  1. Empowerment: Offering support with opportunities for informed consent, and encouragement to make personal decisions.
  2. Prevention: Taking a proactive approach, encouraging action before harm occurs. 
  3. Proportionality: Preferring a less invasive approach to any presented risks. 
  4. Protection: Representing and supporting those in need.
  5. Partnership: Working together within the community to detect and report any instances of abuse. 
  6. Accountability: Taking ownership and being transparent with community members and their families.

If you are considering an assisted living community for yourself or a loved one, they should have a robust safeguarding policy in conjunction with compliance with government regulations. 

A safeguarding policy should outline the rights of community members, contain an acknowledgment of possible risks, and precise details of how the approach works to protect its residents. 

Your chosen assisted living community should provide details of how it works to safeguard residents, including information about:

  • Safety measures
  • Staff training 
  • Medication policies and procedures
  • Nutrition
  • Quality standards
  • Resident well being

Safeguarding policies can be a helpful guide for staff, providing pertinent information about the overall welfare of community members and ensuring consistent procedures and care. 

Older adults can be vulnerable, and safeguarding helps protect our loved ones in assisted living communities from neglect or abuse. Assisted living communities want their residents to be fulfilled and healthy, and well-crafted policies help them attain their goals.

Protecting Your Loved Ones

The management and staff at your chosen senior living community should be dedicated to protecting its residents. Any instances of harm, neglect, or abuse should be immediately recorded and reported.

If you have concerns that an assisted living community is not following state regulations, we recommend contacting the community’s staff or the state government.

It’s vital to stay closely involved with your loved ones in assisted living communities, and watch closely for any changes to their demeanor, appearance, and personal well-being.  

State regulations exist to help provide comfort and peace of mind to assisted living community members and their loved ones. Doesn’t it feel great to know that high-quality care is available whenever you need it? Mattison Crossing is available if you have questions about assisted living and state regulations. Reach out to our incredible team if you need more information. We are passionate about providing the very best in senior care, and are always ready to help.

Morgan Berardi

Written by Morgan Berardi

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