Many of the risks seen in Memory Care are the same risks that arise in skilled nursing and assisted living. However, there are unique legal risks inherent in the provision of memory care services that leadership should not ignore. While this article is not an exhaustive list of those risks, some of the often-overlooked enhanced risks are identified below.
By: Karen Davila
Memory Care in the CCC
The existence of a Memory Care Unit allows residents to remain in the CCC longer, but the risks of caring for those individuals increases substantially. Memory Care services are generally provided in a secure (“closed”) unit with staff with specialized trained to understand the unique needs of residents with dementia. Risks are different from those elsewhere in the CCC in part due to (a) the geographic and physical isolation (restricted ingress/egress) that are common for Memory Care Units; and (b) the unique capabilities and vulnerabilities of residents, rendering them unable to comply with safety guidance and participate meaningfully in analysis of any adverse event. Because of this, leadership should recognize and attempt to mitigate risks associated with falls, elopements, aggressive/disruptive behaviors, infectious disease, adequacy of staff training, and 24/7 staff supervision, among others. Additional thoughts and considerations on each of these are discussed below.Continue reading