Frontline - "Life and Death in Assisted Living"
The long term care industry has grown rapidly with the aging population. Assisted living facilities have flourished as people naturally want to delay going into a nursing home yet need help with mobility, cooking, and medications. Unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities are not regulated by the federal government. They are left to the states to regulate and state regulations are minimal and inadequately enforced.
Here is a link to the PBS Frontline series on "Life and Death in Assisted Living" - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/social-issues/life-and-death-in-assisted-living/the-emerald-city/
The story is very similar to what I hear from my clients: "When we toured the facility, it was beautiful. There were linens in the dining room and a schedule of social activiites. It seemed seemed perfect for my parents." Next the family wass told to sign a slew of documents including an arbitration agreement which prevents the family from suing for injuries or death. Upon admission problems start. Medication errors, falls, pressure ulcers, and weight loss. In one of our cases, the facility refused to provide adequate heat.
The Frontline story tells the tale of Emeritus' growth into one of the largest assisted living facility providers in the United States. The bottom line is that assisted living facilities are largely for-profit entities that place place profits ahead of patient safety. At the Silverman Law Firm we believe that holding assisted living facilities accountable in Court improves the quality of care for all residents. In other words having to defend lawsuits makes it expensive to provide bad care.