Information is power. That oft-quoted mantra is certainly true in many contexts, and that includes making choices about elder care. Each Chicago assisted living neglect lawyer at our firm urges local residents to conduct as much research as possible into the quality of care provided by prospective facilities. Illinois nursing home neglect is often more likely to occur at those locations with a history of problematic care. Steering away from those homes, where possible, is a wise move.
Not only is it important to understand the quality of care at individual facilities, but it is also helpful for researchers to take a look at industry-wide trends. In that way policy makers are provided information to make budgetary and regulatory decisions in order to maximize the quality of life of those who utilize these services.
For example, the AARP recently released a new report on the state of assisted living facilities nationwide. The full report can be found HERE.
Assisted living is distinguished in the study as an important piece of the overall long-term services and support (LTSS) system. This includes most residential facilities for those who do not need the close medical care provided by nursing homes but who are not able to safely live on their own. These sorts of intermediate facilities are booming in popularity, no doubt growing as a result of changing demographics. The fact is clear that the population is growing old, both as a result of the aging of Baby Boomers and medical advances which are keeping community members alive longer. According to the report, in only a three year period–from 2007 to 2010–the total number of beds in assisted living facilities increased by nearly 200,000. As of 2010 there were well over 1.2 million such living spaces at over 51,000 facilities nationwide.
The overall scope of the AARP is more general than a rating or ranking of individual homes. Instead, the report sheds light on the overall trends in the industry and noting where there is an adequate (or inadequate) supply on these homes. Many seniors suffer from elder abuse and neglect when they do not have access to these facilities
The Situation in Illinois
According to the report, the latest data (from the summer of 2010) suggests that Illinois has slightly less than 30,000 bed capacity in these facilities. That should be compared to an estimated population over 65 years old of 1.6 million. Taken together that works out to about 16 beds per 1,000 senior residents.
How does this compare with other states?
Unfortunately, this indicates an availability rate below many other states and far below the average. The national average is 31 beds per senior resident. The highest performing state has 62 beds per 1,000 senior residents. That means even if the assisted-living bed capacity doubled in Illinois, we would still be just at the national average. Our Chicago assisted-living facility lawyers appreciate the danger of this situation. Hopefully more is invested in these spaces in the future to account for our current deficiency and changing demographics.
See Our Related Blog Posts: