One the most prevalent trends in the senior care industry is the emergence of nursing home alternatives such as assisted living facilities and group homes. While the facilities offer many perceived advantages compared with traditional nursing homes, there are significant differences in terms of the care that they are capable of providing.
The most significant difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities is that nursing homes are indeed medical facilities that are intended to provide patients with skilled nursing care. Depending on the states licensing requirements, some assisted living facilities may provide their residents with assistance while taking their medication.
Nonetheless, the supervision and administration of medications is a significant responsibility!
I am always reminded of the significance of this responsibility when assisted living residents are injured or killed as a result of medication errors at the facility. Just recently, a jury in Ohio found the Landing of Canton, an Emeritus assisted living facility, guilty of providing a patient the wrong medication. The medication error resulted brain damage and subsequent death of the patient.
The lawsuit filed in Federal Court, centered around the fact that the staff at the Landing of Canton provided diabetes medicine to the patient— who was not diabetic! As a result of the assisted living facilities negligence, the jury has ordered them to pay the family of the deceased resident $1.93 million as well as attorney fees.
From my perspective, I too often see assisted living facilities and nursing homes take a cavalier approach to the administration of medication. Facilities must acknowledge that basic precautions such as confirming the identity of each patient and confirming the proper dosage for each patient can save lives. Hopefully, large verdicts such as the one recently handed down against Emeritus, will convince facilities across the country to step up their medication administration protocols to protect patients from further harm.
For laws related to Ohio nursing homes, look here.