Assisted Living Facilities in Maryland
Assisted Living Facilities and Neglect
Not Every Facility Provides Adequate Care
The choice to move a loved one into an assisted living facility can be a difficult one to make. Many Maryland families select assisted living for their family members who can no longer live independently but don’t want or need to live in a nursing home.
Assisted living communities differ from nursing homes in that they don’t offer complex medical services. If your loved one requires assistance with the activities of daily living (ADL), such as toileting, dressing, feeding, bathing, and personal hygiene, but does not need daily medical care, assisted living may be their best option.
Many choose assisted living facilities because they believe they are safer than nursing homes. We have all seen the negative attention these facilities often receive.
Be aware, residents in assisted living facilities may also be victims of abuse and neglect.
According to the AHCA/NCAL (American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living), “States establish and enforce licensing and certification requirements for assisted living communities, as well as requirements for assisted living executive directors.” Unfortunately, those involved in caring for the elderly don’t always abide by these regulations.
If your loved one has been a victim of abuse or neglect in their Maryland assisted living facility, an assisted living lawyer can help you. Contact the professionals at The Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg today at 410-825-3161 for guidance on how to proceed.
Maryland Assisted Living Facilities
What They Offer and Who They Help
Assisted living facilities provide a much-needed residential experience for a considerable portion of society. They are ideal for those who may need some help in their daily lives but also desire and are capable of a level of independence. Ideally, residents of assisted living facilities should have as much independence as they want and can handle, while benefiting from available personal care and support services if and when they’re needed.
Assisted living facilities offer three levels of care. Upon admission, residents are assessed to determine just how much help they will need. The cost, as well as the amount of care required of the facility, increases between levels. Generally, assisted living facilities are less expensive than nursing homes, and they provide less-skilled nursing care. Some residents who need more care than an assisted living facility can provide may find themselves in trouble if the facility doesn’t want to admit that they are unable to provide appropriate care and would rather have the person stay to maintain the payments from the resident. Situations like this often result in abuse or negligence and can endanger residents. If your loved one has fallen victim to this, contact an assisted living attorney today.
The Structure of Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living communities vary in structure. Some are developed as single residences while others are divisions of continuing-care retirement communities that also offer more advanced care. The environments of assisted living facilities are generally more appealing to potential residents and their families than nursing homes. This is understandable, considering some of the features that their residents enjoy.
The living arrangements are homey. Many offer small, private apartments rather than nursing home rooms that may be shared with another resident. Often there are studio and one-bedroom models. Kitchenettes usually feature small refrigerators and microwaves. The size, amenities, and sophistication of assisted living communities range from a single building with basic services to large, multi-building campuses offering high-end facilities and services.
Residents are normally seniors whose abilities have declined in some way and who need assistance in performing one or more ADLs. Assisted living facilities appeal to seniors who would prefer to live in a social environment without the responsibilities of living on their own. Care should be easily accessible if and when it’s needed.
Seniors Have Options
Assisted living facilities are a step up in the level of attention and care from an independent living community, a form of housing targeted to those over the age of 55. In senior communities, the housing may be apartments, townhouses, or single-family homes. Social activities may be planned for community members, while yard work and other maintenance issues may be taken care of as part of the cost. If a resident can’t maintain independence because of difficulties with one or more ADLs, assisted living may be the next option.
Nursing homes, on the other hand, provide more care and supervision than assisted living facilities. They serve older and/or disabled adults who need around-the-clock care at a much higher level than those who can reside in an assisted living community.
Many assisted living facilities try to bridge the gap between their services and those of nursing homes by providing health care on-site or by contracting with local healthcare providers so that a resident can remain at the facility despite the fact that they need a higher level of care. This cost would normally be in addition to the monthly rent, and the charges vary on the level of care provided.
The benefits of residing in an assisted living facility may include:
- prepared meals three times a day
- help with light housekeeping and laundry
- amenities that might include a fitness center, swimming pool, beauty salon, post office, and transportation in higher-end facilities for high-functioning Level 1 residents
- events, activities, and trips
- option for pets (depending upon facility rules).
Assisted living facilities are regulated at the state level.
Each state has its own policies and guidelines that define and govern what care and services are required for an assisted living community to meet the state standards. If you believe the facility where your loved one lives is not providing appropriate care, you can and should report the issues.
The Costs of an Assisted Living Facility
Residing at an assisted living facility costs about half what it costs to live in a nursing home. Genworth Financials’ annual survey of senior living costs found that last year the national average monthly cost for residing at an assisted living facility was $4,300, while the average monthly cost for a nursing home was $7,756 for a semi-private room and $8,821 for a private room.
The average monthly cost for assisted living in Maryland was $5,000.
Assisted living is normally paid for from private funds, with some exceptions. Some private long-term care insurance policies cover licensed assisted living. A war veteran or the spouse of one might qualify for Veteran’s Benefits that can be used to help pay for assisted living.
Assisted Living Facilities are Responsible for Quality Care
Assisted Living Neglect Lawyers Understand the Requirements
Like nursing homes and group homes, assisted living facilities must have a care plan for each resident. They are responsible for injuries and deaths if they fail to address the medical needs of the resident.
- They must recognize the medical needs and get the resident prompt treatment when needed.
- If the facility can’t provide sufficient care to address a resident’s medical needs, he or she should be transferred to a nursing home or hospital, whichever is more appropriate.
Carefully monitoring the care your loved one receives is important. If you believe they are not receiving the care they need, contact an assisted living abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Assisted Living Abuse in Maryland
Despite Regulations, Issues Exist
In this state, negligence or abuse of a resident can be defined as “physical, sexual, mental, or verbal abuse, or the improper use of physical or chemical restraints or involuntary seclusion.” Examples of physical abuse or neglect that could happen at an assisted living facility include:
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Repetitive falls, leading to severe injury or death
- Medication errors
- Failure to obtain emergency care.
Facilities have a duty to provide for the health and safety of their residents. Part of that duty is protecting residents from each other. An issue both assisted living facilities and nursing homes need to address is that of preventing residents with dementia from abusing and potentially injuring other residents. Assisted living residents who abuse other residents or staff are likely to have dementia or severe mental illness, reports Kaiser Health News.
Physical, verbal, and sexual abuse often occur in assisted living facilities. Statistics show that:
- Compared to the rest of the population, those with dementia are more likely to engage in physical abuse.
- Male residents engaged more often in physical abuse than female residents.
- Residents with severe mental illness were more likely to engage in physical, verbal, and sexual abuse.
It is important to understand that quite often abuse goes unreported.
Elderly residents may not be aware the abuse actually occurs or may be afraid to share what is happening. Additionally, the staff is often hesitant to report incidents and is concerned about maintaining their employment.
Dementia is a significant issue in assisted living facilities. Those who suffer from dementia require a specialized level of care. If you are considering an assisted living facility for a family member, find out if there is a separate unit for residents with dementia, with trained staff who can spot and manage the early warning signs of aggressive behavior.
If a loved one living in an assisted living facility suffered a serious injury because of neglect or abuse or was killed due to the negligence of the facility, take action to protect your rights and the rights of your family member. You should contact an assisted living neglect attorney.
- Assisted living facilities should be held accountable when their mistakes cause serious harm to residents.
- If you believe a family member suffered because of the staff of an assisted living facility, an investigation may discover what actually happened, why, and who is responsible.
- You don’t need to feel guilty or responsible for the harm done. If the facility’s management and staff are to blame, you shouldn’t second-guess yourself.
Contact Our Maryland Assisted Living Neglect Lawyer Today
Maryland Assisted Living Abuse Attorney: Protecting Your Loved Ones
Attorney Roger Weinberg has the experience and skill to hold assisted living facilities in Maryland accountable for their bad care. With over 25 years of professional experience, Mr. Weinberg has been working to protect the well-being of our senior population. In fact, he is the founding Chair of the Maryland Association for Justice’s (MAJ) Nursing Home Section.
He is well-versed in the laws governing senior facilities in Maryland. He understands the regulations as outlined by the State of Maryland’s Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ).
Mr. Weinberg appreciates the emotions involved in the cases he handles. These are real people and real relationships. Nobody’s rights should be violated, nor should they ever be the victim of abuse. He has developed a reputation for combining kind and empathetic listening with aggressive litigating. This combination has proven incredibly valuable. In 2014, he successfully won a $1,000,000 verdict when a facility refused to acknowledge the neglect of a resident who died in the facility after suffering for hours from a medical emergency.
Perhaps nothing speaks more clearly to the value Roger Weinberg brings than the words of those he serves. Consider the below review shared by one of his clients. According to Madeline:
“Roger Weinberg is not only a compassionate person, he is a highly competent and effective lawyer. We worked with Roger for two years in our case regarding our mother’s unfortunate neglect at an assisted living facility. He helped all of us (five children living in various states) stay focused and informed during the course of the lawsuit which eventually led to a trial. Roger was resourceful during every phase of the lawsuit, especially at trial where he defended our case with aplomb. All of us are deeply grateful to Roger as he worked long and hard to represent us during a stressful period. Despite several setbacks, he continued to press forward reassuring our family with his gentle wit and humor. As a result, we won our case. Under his expert guidance, we were finally able to find closure.”
Because of his reputation for strong advocacy, the Law Offices of Roger Weinberg, LLC, often gets referrals from past clients and other attorneys. If you have observed, or even suspect, abuse or neglect of a loved one in an assisted living facility, call 410-825-3161 to begin an investigation that may result in compensation and justice.