Massachusetts regulators are proposing new rules around assisted living that would require operators to provide additional employee training and evacuation plans, and would prohibit them from accepting residents who actually need a higher level of care than what assisted living provides.
The changes are aimed at “closing gaps that threatened elders’ safety,” according to a Boston Globe report.
“Many elders who once would have moved to nursing homes when their health declined are instead choosing to remain in assisted living, often because the cost is significantly less than for nursing homes,” the Globe writes. “As a result, the populations in these loosely regulated, apartment-like facilities have been profoundly transformed, with a growing segment of residents who are increasingly frail.”
Specifically, the rules prohibit providers from accepting, or retaining, residents who require more than 90 days of skilled nursing care.
Elder care advocates told the Globe upon the proposed changes that the rules were headed in the right direction, but some expressed concerns over enforcement and oversight of the rules, given the state’s elder care resources.
Massachusetts follows California in its initiative to reassess the laws around assisted living; California has passed several rules toward that end including those aimed at refining employee training.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker