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Is Your Loved One Really Getting the Care You Expect?

Understand the senior living facilities and levels of care so you really know what kind of care your loved one is getting including emergencies & CPR.Recently, there has been a great deal of controversy about an employee in an independent living facility in California who refused to do CPR on a resident, citing company policy forbidding her to do so. The resident later died, sparking many questions about types of facilities, the kind or “level” of care provided and their policies. Several investigations have been launched as a result of the incident. The facility at first said the employee followed policy, but later released a statement saying, “The incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents.”

As I monitored the story via online and TV news, Twitter and Facebook, I realized that many people don’t fully understand the levels of care in senior housing. They don’t know about the extent of individualized supervision and support offered, or the wide variety of policies in place in these facilities. Whether that independent living facility had a policy in place preventing staff from administering CPR or not, it brings up this question for caregivers: Do you know what your loved one’s facility would do?

This is the first of a two-part post that I hope will help caregivers, as well as their loved ones who live in facilities, sort all of this out.  First, I’ll outline 6 types of facilities your loved one might consider – or already be living in. My next post will address the information you need to get about care and policies.

There are many different levels of care and options when it comes to senior living facilities. Staffing, services and policies can vary greatly. Be aware that there are varying names for these levels of care in different states, as well as varied state regulations and monitoring systems. These are a few of the common types:

Wherever your loved one lives, make sure you get a realistic picture of the level of care and supervision for your loved one, as well as the quality of life and the facility’s detailed policies. Never assume your idea of care is the reality. AARP has lots of great information about all of these housing options and more in the online AARP Caregiving Resource Center.

My next post will outline key questions to ask to ensure you fully understand what will – and won’t – be offered for your loved one, regardless of their level of care or type of housing.

Photo Courtesy of virtual_tourguide

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