Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Assisted Living Communities: Who to Talk to If You Have a Problem?

Assisted living communities often offer invaluable services to seniors who need help with daily living activities. From  assistance with grooming and dressing to housekeeping, these communities offer the services elderly individuals need while providing residents with a social calendar that allows them to stay active. But sometimes assisted living facilities fail to deliver on their promises. Horror stories abound regarding the abuse and neglect that seniors have endured at the hands of unethical healthcare professionals. While these stories represent the minority of assisted living communities, it is important that you know where to turn should your elderly loved one experience improper care or disreputable treatment.

Talk to the Executive Director of the Community
Immediately upon discovering that a complaint should be made, talk to the Executive Director of the community. In the best case scenario, the problem is limited to one employee and can be quickly and easily addressed; however, it is important to determine if the root cause is an individual or the community as a whole.

If, after talking to the manager of the assisted living facility, the issue is resolved, your loved one can most likely remain in the community if they wish. If the problem has not been addressed, however, it is important to take the next step toward filing an official complaint.
Contact the Licensing Agency for Your State
Senior care facilities in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, fall under state jurisdiction. In fact, all elder care communities across the country are regulated by state laws. For this reason, it is important to deal directly with the state's licensing agency. You should be able to file a complaint with this agency directly.

Reach Out to the Assisted Living Consumer Alliance
A national organization, the Assisted Living Consumer Alliance is a great resource for families that have loved ones in assisted living communities. Filing a complaint with this organization will further spread the word regarding the unethical, illegal, and/or abusive treatment that seniors in an assisted living facility experience.
When considering filing a complaint, do your due diligence to ensure that a complaint is warranted. If you are certain that your senior experienced unlawful treatment and the issue has not been resolved, it is crucial to alert the right authorities.

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