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Are senior apartments safer than nursing homes?

senior-living-frese-hansen.jpgThe growing number of abuse stories in nursing homes across the nation in the last few years has led a lot of people to reconsider the living arrangements they make after retirement. For many, this has meant foregoing a stay at a nursing home, choosing instead senior apartments, which offer independence and a reduced risk of abuse by a health care worker.

It's because of this reduced risk of abuse that many consider senior apartments to be a safer option than traditional nursing homes. But is this really the case? Are senior apartments really safer than nursing homes?

Unfortunately, a blanket question such as this requires a blanket answer that won't be true for all facilities here in Florida. What we can say is that the safety of a nursing home or assisted living facility depends heavily on how the establishment is run and the procedures that are in place to keep residents safe from harm.

It's also worth pointing out that the possibility of abuse is not the only concern that should dictate whether a facility is safe or not. The age of a facility can easily create hazards, especially in the event of a fire as a recent out-of-state case demonstrated last month.

Potential residents should also consider reaction time to serious health conditions or accidents. Depending on the license an assisted living facility holds here in Florida, on-site nurses may not be available, which may not sit well with some of our readers.

In the end, potential residents should consider all of the factors that could make a facility unsafe so that changes can be made to living arrangements before an accident occurs. It's worth pointing out though that not all nursing homes and assisted living facilities cost the same amount, which means changes to living arrangements could affect finances down the road. If our readers consider this now though, they may have enough time to plan for an unfortunate outcome such as this and avoid a potential headache down the road.

Source: Floridahealthfinder.gov, "Assisted Living in Florida," Accessed Jan. 7, 2015

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