Memory Care Unit Has Unique Legal Risks

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

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine and Incentives

Can an employer mandate a COVID-19 vaccination?  And if so, are there exceptions/exclusions that must be addressed?  Since the COVID-19 vaccines were first approved for emergency use, the debate has raged as to whether employers can or should require employees (as a condition of employment) to be vaccinated.  And, with large numbers on both sides of the debate, the answer, while clear from a legal standpoint (at least for the moment at the federal level) is not without controversy or consequences.

Requirements for Mandatory Vaccine Policies

Health care employers have long required flu vaccines of their employees, absent a medical reason or religious belief.  Accommodations have been made as required for those who cannot receive the vaccine.  And mandatory vaccines in the health care industry provide some protection for the health and safety of patients and the care providers. The same rationale and rules apply to the COVID-19 vaccine. Continue reading