Sweeney Law Firm Video Library

Assisted Living Facilities

INsight Interview with David Farnbauch explaining Assisted Living Facilities. 

Video Transcript:

Q Welcome back to INsight.  We’re with Dave Farnbauch, from Sweeney Law Firm, and we want to talk about assisted living facilities.  These are growing in popularity.  More and more people are going into assisted living.

A Dirk, every time you turn around in Fort Wayne, they’re putting up a new assisted living facility.

Q And what does that mean, just, I mean, it’s kind of like organic or natural or whatever.  I mean, does assisted living mean something specific?

A Well, assisted living, you know, how I would define “assisted living” is elderly people that need assistance with basic activities of daily living, but it’s felt that they aren’t quite ready for a skilled long term nursing home facility.

Q But are they regulated, I guess?  Is one assisted living going to offer the same services as the second assisted living, as the third as the fourth?

A Yes, and, of course, obviously, we approach this from the safety standpoint and when you ask are assisted living facilities regulated, what’s interesting, I brought in a couple of things for the viewers to look at.  This is the, what we call the watermelon book.  This is the book of regulations, federal regulations that govern skilled nursing home care.  They say it’s the second most heavily regulated industry in the United States.  So, obviously, lots of rules and regulations that must be followed.  These are the regulations that govern what we call a rehabilitation facility, a residential rehabilitation, or residential facility in the state of Indiana.  You know, the regulations are, you know, a few pages.  So, people have to understand that when you put a resident into a facility, who has some medical needs, for example, a lot of these assisted living facilities have memory units, they have units that are designed to take care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.  Well, those patients have a lot of medical needs and they need a lot of supervision and these regulations, while they do have some regulations in place that require certain level of staffing and sort of oversee what the staff can do, from a medical standpoint, it’s not anywhere near the level of care that you’re going to get in a nursing home.

Q So, the term “skilled nursing” means skilled nursing?

A You’re going to get round the clock skilled nursing care and a lot tighter oversight over those residents to, for their safety and to prevent accidents and to make sure that they’re safe. 

Q If my loved one truly just needs assistance, is there a best way to evaluate from one facility to the other?

A Well, once again, the Indiana State Department of Health, they have score cards for these residential facilities.  There’s information you can get from the Indiana State Department of Health website as to whether they’ve been cited for violations of the Indiana State Department of Health regulations.

Q We were talking before we went on the air about the, don’t be fooled just because it’s clean and well maintained and beautiful grounds.

A Right.  Dirk, I think there’s just, there is still a stigma, families don’t want to put their loved one in a nursing home.  So, they think to themselves, okay, we’ll just put Mom or Dad in an assisted living facility.  It’s not really a nursing home.  But I think what you really have to carefully evaluate is is this the right fit for that resident’s level of acuity or their needs.  I think a lot of people get placed in an assisted living facility that really actually need to be in a nursing home and sometimes with tragic consequences that if your loved one needs a lot of care and oversight, it could be dangerous being in an assisted living facility.

Q You can learn more at  We’ll be right back on INsight.