Nursing Levels of Care Differ in a Nursing Home and ALF
What is the Difference Between a Nursing Home and an Assisted Living Facility (ALF)?

Assisted living facilities or ALF’s are designed for people who need some help with daily care, but not the same level of help provided by nursing homes.  

The key is that assisted living facilities provide less care to its residents who are more independent and are able to care for themselves.

ALF’s Are Very Different Than a Nursing Home in Many Ways
Chapter #21: The Accommodations Are Different in an Assisted Living Facility

Residents in assisted living facilities usually live in their own rooms or apartments and share common spaces.  There are some housekeeping and nutritional services provided to the residents, but these facilities do not provide 24 hour nursing care.

Assisted living facility residents do not need 24 hour access to nursing care.   By contrast, nursing homes provide residents with around the clock access to care by skilled nurses.   

Assisted living facilities typically offer residents several “levels of care,” with residents paying more for the higher levels of care.


As Residents Age, Their Needs Change - Time to Move Out of the ALF and Into a Nursing Home?
Chapter #22: Duty of Care of an Assisted Living Facility

Assisted living facilities are responsible for recognizing when a resident needs a higher level of care.  

When a resident’s ability to care for themselves declines, the assisted living facility is required to transfer the resident to another facility that can provide the higher level of care needed, typically a nursing home.   

Sometimes assisted living facilities  fail to timely recognize, or the assisted living facility  chooses not to timely recognize, when a resident needs a higher level of care.  Why would they choose to not transfer a resident to a higher level of care facility?  Simply put, they will lose the income while they have a vacancy in the assisted living facility.

When an assisted living facility fails to transfer a resident in a timely manner to a facility that provides a higher level of care, the delay can cause bad things to happen.   

The delay in a transfer causes the resident’s needs to not be met, and the resident is injured or even dies at the assisted living facility.  

When a resident needs a higher level of care than an assisted living facility can provide,  the resident is said to be no longer appropriate to reside at an assisted living facility.

An example of this would be a  situation where an assisted living facility resident’s condition declines to the degree that their risk for falls and injuries from falls increases dramatically.   

Rather than recognizing the resident’s increased needs, or in spite of recognizing their needs, the assisted living facility fails to transfer the resident to a facility that is licensed to and able to provide a higher level of care.

Nursing homes have skilled health care providers who are trained in fall prevention and interventions to reduce the risk of injuries from falls.  

The delay by the assisted living facility may even result in the death of a resident. 

Assisted living facility residents also suffer the same kinds of abuse and neglect that some nursing home residents suffer.

Assisted Living Facilities Offer More Freedom to Those Who Are Able to Take Care of Themselves

The bottom line is that assisted living facilities are required to provide the quality of care that is needed for each individual resident.  

Assisted living facility residents have the same rights as nursing home residents.  

The failure to protect assisted living facility residents from the abuse is handled like a nursing home abuse case.

If you suspect a loved one has suffered serious injuries or death because of the violation of their resident rights, we encourage you to call us at MattLaw® so we can learn from you what happened. If we believe there is a case, we will thoroughly investigate what happened and ensure you receive full and fair compensation for the losses caused by the Assisted Living Facilities neglect.


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