One of the most controversial topics in relates to elder care has been assisted living facilities. In fact, California lawmakers released a dozen legislative proposals to the public that all aim to stiffen the regulations at California assisted living facilities. Considering that California has 7,700 assisted living facilities throughout the state, changes here may set an interesting precedent for other states.
What are these proposed changes?
When looking at these proposed changes, it is obvious that the overarching philosophy behind it is that prevention should always come first in relates to nursing home or assisted living abuse. If passed, these proposed regulations would mandate that these facilities receive a yearly inspection. It would also increase the size of financial penalties that the state of California is able to levy in the event that these facilities fail to provide adequate care.
Moreover, it would also increase the mandatory training for assisted living employees and might require facilities to hire registered nurses in some instances. Finally, the inspection results would be postedonline wherethe public is able to review the results, thereby making a more informed decision for their loved ones.
Why these changes matter
California is home to more assisted living facilities than any other state in the nation. Yet the state also has some of the loosest regulatory regimes. This includes infrequent inspections (only once every five years is mandatory) and minimal fines (sometimes as little as $150 in cases of abuse or fatal neglect).
Unlike the traditional physical rehabilitation centers and nursing homes, these assisted living facilities do not provide around-the-clock medical care. However, these assisted living facilities may have several hundred beds and provide assistance of the disabled and elderly.
These proposed changes are beneficial
Despite the fact that the people behind the introduction of these legislative proposals suggest that it is still important for families to be active in overseeing care, they also realize that state agencies responsible for senior care facilities have to make family members feel comfortable. One of the new pieces of legislation would make it impossible for these facilities to accept new residents if they have unaddressed serious health or safety violations or unpaid fines.
This would allow family members to rest a little easier, knowing that those who are in violation are not allowed to continue operating with immunity. Governor Brown is clearly taking the situation seriously, adding 71 new employees and an additional $7.5 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year to increase the oversight of these California assisted living facilities. While it may be a belated step in the right direction, it clearly shows that the governor is listening to the many complaints that people have about the assisted living facilities in his state.