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4 Common Senior Living Community Problems and How to Solve Them

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4 Common Senior Living Community Problems and How to Solve Them | Apricus Senior Living

Successfully managing an assisted living community requires experience, good business management, and a certain degree of patience. 

Additionally, operating in the allied health industry requires you to abide by Federal and State laws regarding care services for the elderly. For instance, senior living facilities must prioritize above-par living standards to improve the residents’ quality of life. 

The point is every business faces challenges, whether internally or from external factors. If you’re managing an assisted living community, you may have come across some of these problems. As leading experts in the senior care industry, allow us to share our recommended solutions.

Problems with Medicaid Eligibility 

Medicaid vests a lot of benefits to its clients. However, a common problem associated with the program is its level of coverage for one-on-one attention, physical therapy, and other personalized senior care services in nursing homes. 

Here’s the thing, though. The Nursing Home Reform Law prohibits nursing homes from suspending additional care that Medicaid doesn’t cover.

RESIDENT’S SOLUTION: As a resident, you should enforce your right to receive equal treatment and care regardless of your financial status. If you’re Medicaid-eligible, tell the facility management to give the complete treatment covered by Medicare.

FACILITY’S SOLUTION: Consult with Medicaid representatives regarding the full benefits of qualified residents. Moreover, you can try to be transparent to residents regarding Medicaid coverage limitations and additional fees.

Lack of Qualified Manpower in the Community

Many residents feel that living in an assisted living community doesn’t make them feel at ease. Some facilities impose standards of care or services that the residents don’t prefer. The management often reasons that there is a lack of staffing, and as such, residents are unable to enjoy the first-class treatment.

RESIDENT’S SOLUTION: Asking for first-class treatment from a standard care facility may be asking too much. However, don’t let the facility provide substandard care to you. It’s okay to demand things from them as long as they are reasonable.

FACILITY’S SOLUTION: Looking for employees with nursing qualifications can be challenging. While there may be a staff shortage, you can try to create a healthy dialogue with the residents and ask for their collaboration. Encourage them to work with you and gain their input on your concerns, such as dining options, wellness activities, and recreational facilities. 

Use of Drugs to Manage Hard-to-deal Residents

It is a fact that sometimes residents can act violently towards their nurses. Whether it’s an underlying mental illness or just plain anger venting, nursing homes are not allowed to use behavior-influencing drugs to calm violent patients. Using antipsychotic medications for hard-to-deal residents is unethical, especially if without consent.

RESIDENT’S SOLUTION: Before taking any drugs, you can ask the attending nurse to describe the type of medication you’re about to take. If it’s a behavior-influencing drug, you have the right to refuse it. However, if it’s part of your medication, you should cooperate with the nurse.

FACILITY’S SOLUTION: Administering antipsychotic drugs for residents without mental health illnesses is unethical. If there’s a need to administer such medications, always get the resident’s consent first and make sure it is under strict medical recommendations.

Eviction Without Proper and Timely Notice

Under the Nursing Home Reform Law, nursing homes can only evict residents under the following circumstances:

  1. The resident has failed to pay
  2. The resident no longer needs nursing home care
  3. The resident’s needs can no longer be met in that particular facility
  4. The resident’s presence endangers the safety and quality of the lives of others
  5. The resident’s presence endangers others’ health
  6. The senior care facility is going out of business

Other reasons not stated above (e.g., termination of Medicaid benefits) are not a reasonable ground for termination.

RESIDENT’S SOLUTION: If your eviction comes so suddenly, it is within your right to demand a grace period before leaving the facility. Notice of eviction must be timely (informed within 30 days before eviction) and proper (in writing using the language you understand).

FACILITY’S SOLUTION: Evictions may create drama and issues within the community. If the ground for eviction is allowed, the burden of proof rests upon you and the management. In other cases, the resident may request an appeal hearing. Participate in the hearing and try to state your arguments reasonably.

Need help in managing your senior living operations? You might want to hire an expert to help you. 

Talk to us here at Apricus today. With nearly a century of combined industry experience, our team can transform your senior living community and position it for greater growth in today’s booming market.