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Are Assisted Living Facilities Falling Behind on Patient Care?

Much of the focus recently regarding death and a lack of care in long-term care facilities centers on nursing homes. Assisted living facilities, however, are also struggling to keep up with an increased demand for care and patients are suffering as a result.

You may not know that many of these facilities do not qualify for the same types of relief that nursing homes do, leaving them without proper funding, staffing or regulations.

Assisted living facilities are further behind than nursing homes

According to a recent TIME article, ALFs are falling behind when it comes to caring for patients. ALFs are not subject to the same federal regulations as nursing homes. This means the same safety requirements that apply to nursing homes do not apply to ALFs. Not only that, but ALFs are in a position where they are less likely to have the resources to provide certain safety measures, even if they want to.

While nursing homes qualify for federal aid to help cope with an increased demand for care over the last year, ALFs receive none. This creates an environment where an institution, that was probably already struggling before the influx of new patients, is now buckling under the weight of an increased need for quality care with no resources to provide it.

No federal guidelines exist for reporting certain illnesses

As opposed to nursing homes, ALFs are not bound by federal reporting requirements. This leaves families and other residents unaware that there may be an outbreak of certain illnesses in the facility. This can leave residents and family members exposed as they are unaware to take extra precautions.

If you think that this should change, you are not alone. Many advocates are asking that the requirements and relief funds are the same for both nursing homes and ALFs.

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