New Mexico seniors who need a moderate level of assistance in their daily lives without the full-time care of a nursing home may find a good place to live in an assisted living community. However, if you are concerned about your older loved one having quick access to a doctor in the event of an emergency, keep in mind that some communities do not have doctors on site.
Because assisted living communities are home to even frail residents, it is natural to think that such communities would have doctors available. However, Marketwatch points out that many assisted living facilities actually lack doctors or nurses. In reality, many living-assisted facilities vary according to whether they have medical staff available and the kind of medical professionals in the community that are ready to respond to emergencies.
At first, assisted living communities generally did not house as many infirm residents as they do currently. This fact is partially due to hospitals discharging patients earlier than usual to go back to their homes. But it is also because assisted living communities are drawing in older individuals, and with age comes more ailments and illnesses. These are issues that assisted living facilities are still adjusting to.
To make sure that any assisted living facility you look at is right for your relative, ask whether a doctor or any nursing staff resides in the community. If you believe your relative is too frail to handle a prolonged emergency without aid, you might want to look elsewhere. However, if your loved one is healthy and independent enough, you can at least check to see if the facility is close enough to a hospital that medical help is within reasonable reach.
This article, while intended to educate readers on neglect in nursing homes and senior living communities, does not provide any legal advice.