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New Mexico State Regulations for Assisted Living

April 11, 2019 0):?> in: Santa Fe Assisted Living Uncategorized

Many times, feelings and thoughts associated with the phrase, "Nursing Home," are those of sorrow and trepidation. The stereotype is that of the elderly residents being abused and neglected, inedible food slopped on dirty trays, and uncaring staff members. The New Mexico Department of Health, Division of Health Improvement, and Health Facility Licensing and Certification Bureau is working towards defeating these outdated stigmas through the implementation of Assisted Living Laws.

What is now referred to as an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), provides the adult residents with every basic need and additional requests they may have. A few of the multitudinous needs that are met daily consist of cooking meals and aiding residents in eating, taking out trash bags in individuals' rooms, assisting residents to, from, and in the lavatory, distributing medications multiple times per day at very specific hours, and even helping residents put on their jewelry, along with many other responsibilities. There are countless ways for ALF workers to enhance the mentality of the elderly occupants, one of which is by not treating them like or referring to them as, "patients," but rather, "residents," as they may be in a medical facility, but do not want to feel that way, as these facilities are their new homes. It is the staff members' responsibility to make the residents feel comfortable and as aging adults, not patients trapped in a medical home.  

According to the New Mexico Department of Health Facility Regulations, as of January 15, 2010, it has been strictly enforced that Assisted Living Laws include that residents are to receive adequate care and services, ascertain the health, safety, and welfare of those residing within the facility as well as staff members, provide a homelike environment including private rooms for each ALF occupant, and the continued compliance of the set forth rules. New Mexico law requires that each ALF is fully licensed by the New Mexico Department of Health and also necessitates several subsections entailing requisites to be considered for proper licensure. It is mandatory that staff members be sufficiently qualified to fulfill a vast array of duties and that there are employees of the following positions: one Administrator, provided there is only one facility, or if multiple facilities, they are located within a forty-mile radius, and one Direct Care Staff member per fifteen residents. It is written under the law that the Administrator position is held by someone who must undergo the New Mexico Caregivers Criminal History Screening Act prior to employment, among at least eight other requirements. It is also noted that Direct Care Staff shall comply with the Employee Abuse Registry anterior to employment, including a minimum of six other prerequisites.

In accordance with the aforementioned legislation, it is crucial that the Health Insurance and Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines be followed to ensure the privacy and security of each residents' health and medical records. New Mexico laws for ALF's drastically enhance the quality of life for the live-in occupants by providing support, protection, assistance with everyday activities, and a homelike space from highly qualified and trained professionals. These facilities are no longer scary and dangerous places, but rather, are caring, fun, and uplifting. Although not a law, it is regulation in most ALF's today that staff attempt to engage residents in mental utilization to help keep their minds sharp or to get them back to the state they were prior to any possible brain damage that may have required them to be admitted into the facility.

Assisted Living Laws have come a long way in a short period of time and as a result, have positively impacted the lives of countless adults in need of their services. Just as this legislature is set forth to protect the individuals, these facilities are mandated to comply with the regulations and provide the best care possible to their residents.

Check out 5 ways you can pay for assisted living here in New Mexico.

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