The number of Americans over the age of 65 has notably grown in recent decades. In 1920, there was just one person over 65 for every 20 people in the country. Today, the over-65 crowd accounts for one-sixth of the population.
As the size of the elderly population grows, healthcare providers, family members, and other groups are coming together to improve senior care. That ultimately bodes well for aging Americans. But if you run a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE), it does mean you should be aware of changes — and how they can increase your risk.
With that in mind, let’s look at a couple of emerging senior care trends and how they might impact your facility’s liability exposure.
More Personalized Care
Today’s consumer demands personalization, and your elderly residents are no exception. If you want to stay competitive, you can’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach.
Customizing a resident’s care — from how and when they get medical attention to the activities they can enjoy throughout the day — helps both your residents and your facility thrive. But it could open you up to new risk. Adding a pickleball court, for example, might be popular with residents, but it does heighten your chances for a trip-and-fall incident.
That’s where your RCFE liability insurance should come in. The right policy builds in some flexibility, allowing you to tailor care to your residents while minimizing your risk exposure.
In 2023, your RCFE likely uses technology for a wide range of purposes. Some of those uses could actually help mitigate certain liabilities, but others increase your risk.
Say, for example, that you fit your residents with fall detection devices. When you know your residents will get prompt care when they need it, you reduce your odds of a negligence lawsuit. Telling your insurance provider about this could actually help to lower your premiums.
Similarly, the data you collect on residents can help you fine-tune your care while identifying risk areas. Technology can help your RCFE function its best with the lowest-possible level of liability.
On the other hand, organizing residents’ personal information in a digital system could open you up to the possibility of a data breach. Fortunately, the right cybersecurity insurance should provide a strong layer of protection if anything like this does occur at your facility.
Staying on Top of Emerging Senior Care Trends
To stay competitive, you want your facility to have the flexibility to lean into new senior care trends. That means keeping your insurance coverage at a sufficient level to protect you as you explore new areas.
Here, a regular policy review goes a long way. Meet with your insurance agent on an annual basis, or even more frequently if you’re making major changes at your RCFE. Your insurance specialist can come alongside you to ensure you have the right types of policies and coverage levels in place to mitigate as much new risk as possible.
Plus, that person can help you update your policies when new senior care trends evolve into new regulation.
To talk with an RCFE insurance expert to help your facility get the right protections in place — especially in light of emerging senior care trends — call our team at (805) 413-5668.