Personal Injury Attorney
An assisted living facility differs from a nursing home in a number of ways. This facility isn’t necessarily comprised of only elderly people, anyone with disabilities who need assistance with the everyday activities including eating, bathing, dressing, going to the restroom and general mobility issues. Those staying at assisted living facilities are generally not able to live on their own, but do not require the constant attention usually given in nursing homes.
What are the legal responsibilities of an assisted living facility?
Specific responsibilities of the assisted living facility to its residents will differ based on the laws of each state and what is contracted between patient and facility. General duties include:
- Providing meals
- Assisting with daily living activities
- Helping maintain the living spaces of the residents
- Managing the medication requirements of the residents
- Overseeing residents medical appointments and general health
- Planning facility activities and any social events
What constitutes negligence at an assisted living facility?
Basically, if the assisted living facility fails to exercise reasonable care, meaning it needs to act in accordance with every other assisted living facility. Also, if the facility violates any part of the state laws that govern assisted living facilities or breaches any part of a contract made with a resident, it can be guilty of negligence.
When a resident falls at an assisted living facility
If the facility failed to shovel snow on the driveway or sidewalks and a resident slips and falls because of the unshoveled walkways, the facility would almost certainly be guilty of negligence. That example is pretty simple.
What if the resident slips on something while in their own apartment at the facility? Is the facility guilty of negligence? That depends on what the contract between the resident and the facility says. If in the contract it says the facility will once a week help the resident clean their apartment, then the facility may possibly not be charged with negligence. The responsibility of cleaning up a spill on the floor as they occur falls to the resident.
On the other hand, if it is the policy of the facility, or if the contract states such, that the facility will help the resident in their apartment on an as-needed basis, and the resident did call for assistance with the spill but never saw anyone from the facility until after they slipped, then the facility could be found to be negligent.
If the resident falls in a common area, such as hallways or activity rooms or cafeterias, because of a slippery substance on the floor that was not cleaned up by the facility, the assisted living facility will most definitely be guilty of neglecting the condition of the facility.
Because the residents of assisted living facilities are not totally dependant on the personnel of the facility, in order to determine whether or not the facility if negligent in the care of its residents, the contract between resident and facility needs to be examined by an experienced personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale, Florida trusts.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury and assisted living facilities.