An ongoing ProPublica and FRONTLINE investigation and report on the assisted living industry continues, with the newest installment posted on 10-29. Elderly, At Risk, and Haphazardly Protected, features an in-depth analysis of the assisted living industry, and how regulation–or its absence–plays out in the lives of the nearly one million assisted living residents and their families. Originally designed as a way to enable older adults to maintain independence with some support for meals, transportation, and health care, these facilities are now home to individuals whose dementia requires far more intense care and attention.
As the numbers of people living in such facilities continues to grow, questions about how the industry is regulated (and by whom) are pointing to major shortcomings in current arrangements. The ProPublica story includes disturbing reports about resident deaths and injuries, as well as insights about how and why these occur. The story features an interactive map of the states, and readers can assess the situation in their own states. Bound to provoke discussion–but will change follow?–the long article is worth a read.
key words: assisted living, ProPublica, FRONTLINE, investigation