A National Study of Assisted Living
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(4/19/13)-The results of a study of residents of assisted living facilities that was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2010 concluded that high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease are the three most common ailments of residents of these communities.
The data showed that 82% of the residents had at least one of these diseases. What alarmed the researchers even more was the fact that many of the residents had more than one of the ailments.
The study found that more than half of the residents were 85 or older, with 42% suffering from dementia. About 9% had all three of the ailments.
There are more than 733,000 people in America in assisted living communities.
(5/5/03)- A report was released that contained the results of a two-year study that had been authorized by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging which was under the chairmanship of Senator John Breaux, the Louisiana Democrat. The report was the result of the work of 48 different groups, including operators of assisted-living facilities, consumers, health-care providers and regulators.
The report contained over 100 recommendations including the need for the states to strengthen the regulation and oversight of the assisted-living industry. At last count there were over 36,300 assisted-living facilities in the U.S., and this represents a 48% increase since 1998, according to the National Academy of State Health Policy, a Portland, Maine research group. The report can be found on the site for the Senate Special Committee on Aging that is now under the chairmanship of Senator Larry Craig (Republican-Id.). The ranking member of the committee is Senator John Breaux (Dem,-La.) and included Senator Debbie Stebenow (Dem.-Mich.) who has been greatly involved in issues of importance to the elderly, even before she was elected to the Senate in 2002. To see the report go to http://www.senate.gov/~aging/
Senator Breaux stated that "You can find more information on the Internet about a toaster oven than you can about an assisted-living facility…You should be able to see if this one has had five fire-code violations, or if that one had two instances of elder abuse." Senator Breaux further stated that he would pursue ways to develop the recommended national "Center for Excellence in Assisted-Living". Included in the recommendations was a system to grade the performance of assisted-living facilities and to provide the consumer with all the needed information to determine the quality of any assisted-living facility in the U.S.
The report called for the states to expand their training requirements for assisted-living staff dealing with Alzheimer's patients who live outside special units. According to Stephen McConnell, a lobbyist for the Alzheimer's Association in Washington, "Probably 70% to 90% of the people with dementia (in assisted living facilities) are not in special care."
The report recommended that assisted-living workers be allowed to administer medications after completing a high-school equivalency and "sate-approved training course." The report also stated that the services that are touted in the assisted-living facility marketing brochures must be consistent with those listed in the residents' contracts.
Several years ago the HHS released a report on assisted living facilities finding
that most residents surveyed feel they were treated with respect, affection and
dignity by facility staff. However, residents also expressed concerns
over the number of staff available and staff turnover. The report is from A
National Study of Assisted Living for the Frail Elderly, the first national
study of assisted living facilities for elderly individuals. It was written by
Catherine Hawes and Charles Phillips, Texas A &M University Health Center
and by Miriam Rose, Myers Research Institute in November 2000. "High
Service or High Privacy Assisted Living Facilities, Their Residents and Staff:
Results from a National Survey" is available online at
FOR AN INFORMATIVE AND PERSONAL ARTICLE ON PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS WHEN SELECTING A NURSING HOME SEE OUR ARTICLE "How to Select a Nursing Home"
by Allan Rubin
updated November 21, 2016