Failure to Transfer
The Los Angeles assisted living neglect lawyers at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi have successfully litigated cases involving failures to transfer residents to higher levels of care. These events often result in elderly individuals being severely harmed and, unfortunately in some cases, can lead to preventable death.
Assisted living facilities admit patients with higher needs in an attempt to compete with nursing homes and are quickly becoming the nursing homes of the future. The National Center for Assisted Living reports that over 36,000 licensed assisted living facilities exist nationwide with an estimated 1 million residents. However, because there is no universal definition for assisted living facilities, this number may not adequately portray the prevalence of these facilities. In fact, the National Conference of State Legislatures acknowledged in 2002 that the assisted living market is one of the fastest growing long-term care options for older adults; seniors in assisted living facilities who receive Medicaid benefits has increased almost 50% in the past few years.
Unfortunately, these facilities are known to aggressively market and accept residents by promising staffing levels or services that they, in reality, do not provide. In an effort to compete with nursing homes, assisted living facilities are recruiting patients with higher acuity who they cannot properly care for, and fail to transfer these residents to higher levels of care. If your loved one was harmed as a result of an assisted living facility failing to transfer to a higher level of care, you may want to contact a Los Angeles elder abuse attorney immediately.
Skilled nursing facilities, also known as nursing homes, are different from assisted living facilities, or residential care facilities for the elderly. Nursing homes provide skilled nursing care, and generally care for and treat patients with more severe medical problems than residents of assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, normally provide only supervisory care and assistance. Residents of assisted living facilities typically do not have the severe medical issues of nursing home patients, and generally only need help activities of daily living. Assisted living facilities often fail to transfer residents who need the services of a hospital or skilled nursing facility in order to retain the resident and make a higher profit.
Major chains of assisted living facilities often promote special Alzheimer’s Disease Units and are accepting patients with severe loss of cognitive function. The reality is that many of these facilities’ staffing levels are far below those of nursing homes and simply are unable to meet the needs of the higher acuity residents. Assisted living staff may also not be as well trained as hospital or skilled nursing staff to care for elderly individuals who suffer from cognitive issues like dementia. Many elderly individuals also require much more assistance in transferring from place to place, eating food, using the bathroom, and taking medications than assisted living facilities can or are trained to provide. The consequence is that residents nationwide are suffering significant injuries because of the neglect and abuse occurring in these facilities.
Assisted living facilities have also been known to conceal injuries or changes in condition that occur to their residents within their facilities in order to retain these residents for longer periods of time. Staff will deliberately fail to document or notify of harms and changes in the residents’ conditions that necessitate transferring a resident to a higher level of care, such as a skilled nursing facility or even a hospital. Keeping residents in their facilities allows assisted living facilities to make more money even though the proper care is not being provided to these residents. The Los Angeles elder abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi can help you if your loved one has suffered harm as a result of an assisted living’s failure to transfer.