On July 30, 2013, ABC News released a news story regarding a new Frontline documentary that assesses the safety of assisted living facilities in the U.S. The film, “Life and Death in Assisted Living”, takes a closer look at assisted living facilities, which are often understaffed and poorly regulated. This in turn can cause disastrous consequences for residents and their families.
The film highlights the ordeal suffered by George McAfee, a resident at an assisted living facility in Georgia. Mr. McAfee, who suffered from dementia, was not properly supervised by staff at the facility and drank from a bottle of detergent he found in a cleaning room. He subsequently suffered chemical burns to his esophagus, lungs and lips and passed away shortly thereafter. His family has settled with Emeritus Corporation, the company that ran the assisted living facility where Mr. McAfee was living.
This is not the first time that the Emeritus Corporation has come under scrutiny for improper care provided at their assisted living facilities. Past grievances against the company include an elderly woman who froze to death, numerous cases of death as a result of a fall, and poor care provided for bed sores. As the film cites, many of these cases were a result of improper care and poor supervision of elderly patients at these facilities.
The film also takes a close look at the poor training provided to staff working at assisted living facilities. The training provided to workers is often inadequate to properly address the medical needs of elderly patients, particularly those with dementia. Furthermore, workers at these facilities are often underpaid, leading to a high turnover rate of employment.
See the full ABC news story at: