When elder law and assisted living issues intersect

Protecting the rights and safety of aging loved ones can be a daunting challenge. Seeking clarification of elder law issues in Louisiana before choosing an assisted living facility may help avoid major problems. Sadly, legal complications often arise after a senior has already moved into an assisted living center, including many situations involving neglect or abuse.  

One of the first logical steps to take when exploring assisted living options is to determine whether a particular facility provides the types of services and care needed in a specific situation. Less significant issues may still be of paramount importance as well. For instance, one elder may thrive on social interaction while another prefers a more nonsocial environment. If the latter is true, there's no need to make sure an assisted living facility offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities and social events.  

A pre-entry medical and psychological examination may be helpful to identify any special needs a prospective assisted care resident may have because of an underlying physical or mental health condition. Checking to see whether any formal complaints have been filed against a facility can also help narrow down the choices. In addition, if a loved one has many medical needs, it may be best to choose a facility that has a registered nurse on hand at all times.  

Louisiana seniors face many challenges related to long-term care and are often relieved to learn that strong support networks are in place to help them. If an elder law issues arises, such as a mandatory discharge when additional care is needed, especially if the resident in question was not made aware of this policy, concerned family members may reach out for legal support. This type of support is also useful if suspicion of neglect or abuse arises. 

Source: Consumer Reports, "Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community", Penelope Wang, April 16, 2018

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