Is the quality of life improving for Southern California residents in assisted-living facilities? And if so, how much attention do we need to pay to the risks of nursing home abuse and neglect in these communities if a majority of seniors say they are content? According to a recent article in McKnight’s Senior Living, “residents of assisted living communities in California are very satisfied with their living situations” on the whole. While this is good news for many elder justice advocates in the state, we should not let it obscure the fact that there remain a number of seniors who are not satisfied with their living situations and who become victims of elder abuse.
Although the recent article presents promising data on elderly assisted living in the state, we still need to consider the risks to California seniors who do not fall into this depicted majority.
Many Seniors in California are Indeed Happy, Survey Says
The recent article cited a survey that was commissions by the California Assisted Living Association (CALA). An independent global market research company, ProMatura, conducted the study, surveying about 8,000 seniors in our state’s assisted-living facilities and communities, as well as in memory care facilities. The survey team posed questions to the elderly adults living in these facilities, and they also surveyed family members.
According to Margaret Wylde, the ProMatura President and CEO, the results of the survey suggest that a large majority of Californians are pleased with their current living situation, and they believe they are receiving an appropriate quality of care. As Wylde explains, “even as seniors face the physical challenges of aging, they can—and do—enjoy a good quality of life when they feel safe, have control in their lives, are recognized, and [are] part of a caring community.”
Looking at the Survey Numbers
When we refer to a majority of assisted-living facility residents, what, precisely, do we mean? The results from the survey are as follows:
- 95% of California assisted-living residents surveyed indicated they “they feel safe and secure” in the facility or community where they live;
- 93% of those surveyed residents reported that “they have made friends with other residents,” a fact that tends to contribute to a high quality of life in an assisted-living facility;
- 91% of those residents indicated that they “have choices in their lives” when it comes to choosing activities, meals, and other aspects of daily living that help to contribute to a high quality of life; and
- 89% of the seniors who responded to the survey indicated that “they would recommend their community to a friend.”
Currently, more than 175,000 older adults reside in assisted-living facilities in California. The survey team suggests that the results should be indicative of many types of facilities in the state, given that the seniors surveyed lived in communities that ranged somewhat widely in size, “from fewer than 50 units to more than 125 units each.”
At the same time, it is important to recognize that the survey asked questions of fewer than five percent of all assisted-living facility residents in California. Even if the percentages from the survey do hold true across the state, there remains a small percentage of seniors who do not feel safe and secure in their communities and who do not feel that they have the freedom to make choices about their own well being.
Contact a San Diego Elder Abuse Lawyer
If you have questions about a senior’s safety or well-being in an assisted-living facility, an experienced elder abuse lawyer in San Diego can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to discuss your case.
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