The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) has just released a major report, funded by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, on the state of assisted living care and oversight in New York State. The report found that many adult homes, enriched housing and assisted living residences are violating the state’s care rules and are either harming their residents or putting them at risk for harm and that few facilities causing harm or risk of harm had an enforcement action taken against them unless they actually endangered their residents.
The study uncovered numerous reasons for these findings and presents recommendations for changes, including:
· The state does not require residences to train their care staff with a mandated training curriculum; better training of direct care staff must be encouraged, particularly for individuals dealing with medication by mandating a specific curriculum.
· Administrators are not required to be licensed; the state must require licensure; running an adult home or assisted living residence, especially an impacted home or one that has special/enhanced needs certification, requires specific training and competencies and oversight.
· Facilities are now only required to give 3.75 hours of personal care per week to each resident. This is not enough time to care for many residents, especially those on multiple medications; the state must require facilities to provide residents with additional hours of care per week.
· Many facilities violating the rules and regulations cannot be fined because state law does not permit the Department to sanction them if they correct within 30 days (except for an endangerment violation); social services law must be amended to permit such sanctions.
· State law permits only per day fines and only up to $1000 a day fines for violations; per violation must be permitted in addition to per day fines and the amounts must be increased.
· There are too few attorneys to prepare enforcement cases; the NYS Legislature and the Governor must allocate sufficient funds to ensure adequate inspection and enforcement in the Department’s budget.