Tougher Regulations for Assisted Living Facilities
Damian Mallard, Esq.
While reading an article from the November 17, 2011 St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, I was rather enlightened. Lawmakers now want to impose tougher regulations for Assisted Living Facilities (ALF's). Currently ALF's are regulated by four primary agencies. Therefore, no one agency is held responsible when something goes wrong. The CEO of an ALF in Miami is requesting that requirements to be an ALF administrator be increased. Senator Ronda Storms is requesting an online rating system so consumers can be more aware of the facilities in their area. There are several other changes that are being talked about. For example, video monitors in all ALF rooms, more inspections, and increasing fines for repeat offenders.
In my opinion, it's about time someone did something. Too many people living in ALF's are dying or being neglected due to fewer inspections, not enough training for the caretakers, and budget cuts. I like the idea that "if you see abuse and you don't report it, you're out of business." It may mean that more places get shut down, but the end result is better ALF's. Also, as of now, the experience and education to become an ALF administrator in Florida is the lowest in the nation. Basically, a high school diploma and a few days of training are all someone would need to become an ALF administrator. More education would give the administrator a better understanding of the proper care that is needed. Someone needs to be held responsible when something goes wrong, whether it's the AHCA, the Dep't of Health, or the Dep't of Elder Affairs, it doesn't matter. The state wants to have control. However it seems that they cannot handle the responsibility of taking care of the states' elderly.
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