Assisted living facilities have been increasing in number largely due to consumer (resident) desire to live in an environment which is more homelike, encourages personal autonomy, and which allows residents to be independent and make their own decisions.
Assisted living staff have the responsibility of protecting resident privacy and supporting personal dignity and individuality, while at the same time providing supervision and assistance with daily living activities. This is not always an easy task, especially when it comes to working with residents and their families to safely manage the resident’s medications.
Residents’ rooms are their private spaces. Staff should not violate this by searching through their drawers and cabinets without residents’ permission. You should, however, be aware of the conditions in the room. Are there any pills on the floor? Are there excessive amounts of over-the-counter medications in the room? When you are assisting the resident to put away clean clothes in drawers, observe for any medications that may be hidden. Ask the resident’s permission to review the expiration dates on medication bottles. If you do observe any pills on the floor or any other irregularity, discuss it with the resident and report it to the supervisor. Additional tips for working with residents and families regarding medication management will appear later in this guide.