Suggested Reading— Patients at Risk in Assisted Living Facilities

Last month, the PBS show “Frontline” documented the horrors of some patients in assisted living facilities. The hour-long film was produced in conjunction with ProPublica, the investigative news organization. The “Frontline” production was but a tip of the iceberg of this major investigation exploring America’s largest assisted living company. It has about 500 facilities in 45 states.

ProPublica/PBS charts the growth of the assisted living industry and what it means for patients such as the 81-year-old woman whose monthly tab was $7,125. Her family was told all the right things, but the poor care she received ultimately led to her death. The story depicts undertrained staff and a corporate push to fill beds, not meet patient needs. It explains how the federal government leaves regulation of these homes to the states, which are sorely lacking in their oversight.

Because the aging population of America is a booming demographic ripe for exploitation, ProPublica’s four-part series is a critical read for anyone concerned about care for the elderly-themselves or their loved ones. To read it, as well as an explanation of how the story was reported, link here. To view the “Frontline” video, link here.

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