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A Key Document Senior Living Operators May be Missing

Senior living communities are a popular option in the 21st century, as they deliver a level of care that few families can provide on their own as well as an option for residents that do not want to burden their loved ones with care needs.  Choosing the right community is an important decision and one that residents and families take very seriously often with little time afforded in the decision-making process.
Often all stakeholders (facility, resident, and family) have varying degrees of expectations.  As such, it is a best practice for senior living operators to have well-defined and clear expectations developed and implemented to communicate with residents and their families.  These expectations should be in writing and signed by the resident, responsible party and legal representative (if applicable).  

The family expectations letter should become part of your community’s admission process and re-visited through care plan meetings along with corresponding documentation.   Some key risks that should be addressed in the letter include:

  • Nutrition and Hydration
  • Change of Condition
  • Falls
  • Pressure Injuries
  • Behaviors

Many insurance claims have a root cause tied to unrealistic family expectations.  When these are managed up front, this allows for a better understanding of care and disease progression.  With the total claim frequency and average size of a claim increasing 3% annually, risk management is key.  Reach out to the AP Senior Living team for a sample copy of our family expectations document to help develop or refine your letter.

Source: 2018 Aon General and Professional Liability Benchmark for Long Term Care Providers: Actuarial Analysis

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