More and more our firm is seeing claims against so-called “Independent Living” facilities. All too often these facilities are thought of as a nicer option to a nursing home. However, independent living facilities are nothing like a nursing home. These facilities are generally not licensed by the State. They are not required to adhere to regulations or building codes that are specifically devised for nursing homes. Even more shocking, however, is the fact that “independent living facilities” rarely employ licensed nurses. Oftentimes, the facility will rent a room to a home care company as an office. The problem with that is that the home care staff are generally also unlicensed.
Independent living is not designed for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It is also not designed for individuals who have a history of falls or require specialized medical care. Independent living should truly only be considered for those seniors who can live independently but would like the additional social interaction offered in an apartment community setting.