You may assume that federal guidelines are the same for both nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, the difference in oversight may contribute to more cases of abuse in assisted living facilities.
While federal guidelines apply to nursing homes, states usually regulate and oversee ANFs. This can lead to deficiencies in care for patients in ANFs, as opposed to nursing homes.
State reporting rules are not as strict
According to the Association of Aging and Retired Persons, a government study revealed a disturbing lack of strength regarding states’ rules on reporting abuse. In comparison to federal rules for reporting abuse in nursing homes, state rules that govern ALFs are either more relaxed or nonexistent.
In fact, over half of the Medicaid agencies involved in a separate study did not have sufficient systems in place to collect data regarding unexplained or sudden deaths, illegal use of restraints or referrals to adult protective services.
You must watch for the signs of abuse
If you have a family member in an ALF, you must be vigilant when it comes to watching for signs of abuse. The following observations could potentially be signs of abuse:
- Your loved one appears afraid of the staff
- You notice unexplained bruises or other injuries
- Your loved one experiences significant weight loss
- Your loved appears unclean or unkempt
- You notice significant mood changes in your loved one
Victims of abuse are often afraid to speak out and may not come forward, even when asked about mistreatment. If you have any concerns, report them to the appropriate authorities immediately.