A July 30th PBS Frontline documentary investigates Emeritus Corporation, a NYSE public company that is focused on senior living facilities. You can watch the entire video below or visit www.propublica.org to read more about the story.
The story discussed residents who died at the facilty - one former Chicago Bear legend who drank cleaning solution from an unsecured cabinet, one dementia patient who fell out a second floor window, and a resident who died from complications from bed sores.
Former employees of Emeritus claimed that facilities were understaffed, poorly trained, and encouraged to keep paying patients who may have benefitted from skilled care from being referred to skilled nursing facilities.
Current Emeritus executives did not hide but agreed to be interviewed on camera. They said their facilities serve an expanding population of seniors and boomers and that regulations such as staffing ratios would dramatically increase costs. They say people prefer the home like atmosphere of assisted living to nursing homes and that accidents can happen anywhere.
The topic is so interesting because of the expansion of assisted living and assisted living memory units. The questions include:
- What should the families responsibility be in care versus the states ?
- Who should be the advocate for an Alzheimer's patient who does not have friends or family to advocate for them?
- If additional regulation occurs, what would be the impact on the cost of care?
- Who is going to pay for all of this?
This will be an interesting topic going forward. Having LTC insurance or a plan allows people flexibility to make tough choices, such as changing the type of care provided. What do you think?