Licensing requirements at Tennessee elderly care facilities vary

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Families across the Tennessee often have to make some difficult decisions when it comes to taking care of elderly loved ones. There are many people who would like to have the time, resources and medical expertise to care for an elderly family member themselves, but more often than not, this is not possible. It can then become necessary to find a suitable care facility that can take on these tasks.

Making decisions related to these nursing home facilities is not easy. Many people think they can only make decisions based on their financial capabilities, but there are often many more distinctions between Tennessee elderly care facilities that can have a significant impact on the level of care that a loved one will receive.

For example, not all care facilities are required to have the same certificates or licenses. Homes for the aged may be less expensive, but it is because administrators at these facilities are not required to have any medical knowledge whatsoever. This puts the residents in the home at risk of infection, overmedication or neglect if they are not ambulatory and able to take care of their own medication. The care that a person can expect in a home for the aged may be dramatically different than what is available in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Nursing homes and assisted living centers are required to provide both nonmedical and medical care to patients and residents and they must be licensed to do so. There are staffing requirements that must be met and are more clearly defined than those in place for homes for the aged. These facilities are generally much more expensive, however, and there is no guarantee that a loved one will receive the level of care that has been promised.

The unfortunate reality is that the risk of abuse or neglect exists in any care facility that houses vulnerable, fragile and mentally compromised patients. Researching a facility’s care history and background can be just as important as comparing costs. This is why it can be crucial to file a claim against a negligent elder care facility if evidence of mistreatment exists. Not only can legal action result in compensation for the victim, but it can also stain a facility’s reputation and help others to steer clear of those that provide inadequate care.

Source: Times Free Press, “Tennessee law requires little to operate home for the aged,” Kate Harrison and Judy Walton, March 10, 2013

  • Elderly patients at a care facility deserve to receive competent and standard levels of care. For more information on how our Memphis law firm can help those who do not, please visit our page on nursing home abuse and neglect.