10 Things Assisted-Living Homes Won’t Tell You

Navigating all of the different options when it comes to long-term care is difficult. For the best advice and service when determining the type of care desired, consider a Geriatric Care Manager. A GCM will be able to educate you and your loved one on area assisted-living homes to ensure that you achieve the desired outcome. To avoid surprises, seek the help of a professional.

10 Things Assisted-Living Homes Won’t Tell You

Moving to a residential-care facility is difficult enough — even before you account for the hidden fees, untrained caretakers and misleading marketing.

1. We’re a short-term solution.

Since 1981, when assisted-living homes first made their debut as a sort of midpoint between home and a nursing home, they’ve only grown in popularity. Meanwhile, as the number of facilities and residents served has ballooned, so has the diversity of needs. Some homes cater to those who have trouble cooking or doing their own laundry; others, to those with dementia, loss of mobility and even more serious issues. But government regulations that could help protect families with a loved one in an assisted-living facility who is suffering from a chronic or degenerative illness are still few and far between.

Existing rules vary immensely from state to state, and even within a given state. In Florida, for instance, there are four different types of licenses for varying levels of care. There is no national standard for training: While some states require upwards of 25 hours of training for staffers, others have no minimum, only requiring that certain topics be covered. Furthermore, cautions Eric Carlson, directing attorney with the National Senior Citizens Law Center, though most facilities are required to keep at least one person on site overnight, in some cases that person may not be required to be awake.

Still, many people choose assisted-living facilities over nursing homes precisely because they offer residents more freedom in a less institutional and far less expensive setting. Indeed, residents who value their independence are often loath to give it up: People with severe health problems who in the past would have been moved to nursing homes are now staying longer in much less expensive assisted-living facilities, says Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care and former director of Florida’s long-term-care ombudsman program. And since the staff isn’t required to be trained to handle these health issues, he says, “assisted-living facilities can be more dangerous than nursing homes.”

2. If we don’t like you, you’re out.

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We help families in South Florida with care management in the Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and Palm Beach areas.

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