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New Government Report Shares Data on Residential Care Facilities

Late last month the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a new report that provides a detailed summary of residential care facilities throughout the country. It is a helpful document for all those in our area making decisions about long-term care for a loved one and hoping to ensure they remain free of Illinois nursing home neglect or abuse. Each Chicago nursing home abuse attorney at our firm believes that conducting proper research on these facilities ahead of time is usually the best way to avoid problematic homes and ensure quality care. Also, it is necessary to determine if a nursing home is the appropriate place for your loved one at all-a residential care facility may offer a better alternative.

You can view the full report HERE.

The document was produced via a comprehensive data analysis and survey on residential care facilities (RCFs) nationwide. RCFs are considered all assisted living facilities and personal care homes that provide support to those who cannot live independently. They are distinct from nursing homes in that they do not provided as skilled a level of care as those found in regular long-term care institutions. In addition, RCFs are not federally regulated as nursing homes are. That means that reports like this one are particularly important in providing a complete picture of the quality of care provided at all long-term care facilities, both nursing homes and these RCFs.

According to the survey, there are about 31,000 residential care facilities currently in operation in the country. This represents over 970,000 beds. Most of these facilities are small locations, with half of RCFs having fewer than 10 beds. The remaining homes generally had anywhere from 10 to 100 beds. Only a small fraction of RCFs (7%) were larger facilities with more than 100 beds. However, when comparing the total number of facilities and residents they serve, medium –size facilities serve the most residents overall.

The vast majority of RCFs are private, for-profits facilities. They constituted 82% of all RCFs, while the remaining 18% were nonprofit homes or owned by government bodies. RCF chains accounted for more than a 1/3 of all homes and the largest facilities were more likely to be of the chain variety. These are important figures when it comes to quality of care data, as, at least in the nursing home context, chains and for-profit homes consistently have higher rates of mistreatment.

One of the challenges faced by many local families when a loved one is need of extra care is determining what type of facility will provide the needed care without stifling the individual’s freedom. The quality of life of each resident of these facilities cannot be forgotten. The decision is made even more stressful by the stories that are continually shared about nursing home abuse and elder neglect that occur with surprising frequency in many of these locations. The best way to prevent this from happening in your case is to conduct as much research as possible to know about a facility’s track record. It is also important to visit the home, ask questions, and get information from those already living in the establishment.

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