Assisted living facilities like nursing homes serve a very crucial purpose. They help close the gap between the support that older adults need and what their families can provide. If someone develops dementia or has serious physical limitations, possibly related to a history of falling, an assisted living facility might be the safest place for them to live.
Particularly when they do not have close family members in the area or when their needs require around-the-clock support, in-home care may not be a realistic option. With many older adults calling the Sunshine State home, there is consistent demand for assisted living facility services. Florida lawmakers passed the Assisted Living Facilities Act in part to protect those who must move to nursing homes and similar spaces.
What does the Act do?
Many nursing homes are for-profit businesses. Their main objective is to make as much money as possible. That might mean that the executives or workers at an assisted living facility might cut corners when it comes to facility maintenance, patient care and staffing. The Assisted Living Facilities Act effectively helps establish certain standards for nursing homes and similar facilities in Florida.
First and foremost, there is an assumption that maintaining a minimally restrictive space that is home-like is often the best approach. Additionally, it is necessary for facilities to prioritize preserving the dignity and independence of the residents living there whenever possible.
The law establishes standards that facilities will need to maintain regarding the spaces within the facility, the services it offers and the duties performed by staff members. The Assisted Living Facilities Act essentially establishes the minimum legal standard for assisted living facilities like nursing homes in Florida. If a facility does not remain compliant with those standards, then residents or their family members could potentially pursue legal action. Common violations include understaffing or ignoring warning signs of abuse and neglect. Unsanitary and unsafe facilities typically also violate Florida regulations.
Understanding that the law requires a safe, clean and respectful space for vulnerable older adults may empower people to speak up when an assisted living facility does not meet those standards.