National Organization Releases List of Assisted Living Deficiencies

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 11 December 2012

Today’s earlier post spoke to the 5 “must-knows” of assisted living, the essential facts consumers should understand before choosing a community for a loved one or themselves (read it here). A community’s ratings — or record — was among those items, and this recent article from Senior Housing News offers an important follow-up.

Writer Alyssa Gerace reports on a newly issued list from the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), a national member-driven organization who compiled the industry’s most common citations in 2012.

Medication administration deficiencies were among the top problems in assisted living communities across the country. What does this mean? According to Gerace’s article, the deficiencies include things like “not providing medication as directed; having an out-of-date physician order; and documenting medication administration incorrectly.”

The article states that there are 17 categories into which the issues are classified; others include errors in resident admission requirements and deficiencies related to “resident care, food service, staff health, and emergency preparedness.”

While the presence of deficiencies is not comforting, it does not mean that particular assisted living community is a terrible place that should not be selected or trusted for your loved one’s care. Sometimes, the community’s response to the deficiency (i.e. their follow-up action plan) is more telling than the deficiency itself. However, all of these things should be carefully researched and considered before choosing a community.

Read more about the signs of quality assisted living care here.



There are 2 Comments about this post

  1. This, unfortunately, is true in some cases. Another way to investigate an Assisted Living Facility is to ask them if they have a consultant pharmacist that reviews their resident’s medication records. Some states require this and others do not. Having a consultant pharmacist’s involvement should provide some comfort in knowing that a qualified professional is reviewing the medications and medication administration processes and hopefully will help provide safer medication administration.
    Miki Finnin, Pharm. D. BCPS, CGP
    Medication Advisors, PLLC


    on 25 December 2012 / 1:13 PM

  2. That’s an excellent point, Dr. Finnin. I appreciate you sharing this insight and expertise! That would certainly be a good way to assess the quality of a community and its care.


    on 25 December 2012 / 3:12 PM


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