Do most assisted living communities administer medications? Open wounds? Injections?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    It is common for assisted living communities to administer medications to residents. In so doing, they must comply with state regulations. Typically, this means that medications must be filled by a pharmacist, appropriately labeled, and administered properly according to the physician's or authorized provider's instructions.

    Safety is a key consideration in medication management at assisted living communities. State laws address the importance of safe dosage distribution systems, storing medication in locked areas, and proper disposal of unused medication. Only authorized personnel – in most instances, a licensed nurse or an individual who has completed a state-approved training course for providing medication assistance – are permitted to administer medications to residents. Other staff may be permitted to help residents with self-administration, such as reading the dosage, assisting in opening the container, and reminding them when it is time to take their prescribed medications.

    It is less common for assisted living communities to provide wound care, and some states actually prohibit any kind of wound treatment in such settings even on the part of trained healthcare professionals.

    Blood glucose monitoring and insulin injections are not administered universally at assisted living communities. Properly trained personnel are allowed to perform insulin injections at assisted living communities according to state law. Check with the assisted living community's administrator to see if they offer this service. For example, in the state of Massachusetts, medication administration is not allowed in assisted living communities.