The Dirty Secret of Assisted Living

Assisted living today is not what most people think it is. They used to be retirement communities, where residents could get restaurant-style dining and play golf on the weekends.  The people who lived there were independent and self-sufficient.  Not anymore. Many People in assisted living today would have been placed in nursing homes 10 years ago.

Why has this happened?  As the baby boomers have aged, the demand for skilled care has skyrocketed. But, assisted living centers do not provide medical or nursing care.  In order to capture this demand, assisted living centers began accepting and keeping residents who need more care and assistance than they can provide.  These decisions are often not based upon the health, safety, and welfare of the resident, but rather the income that a resident can provide.

Families trust that an assisted living center that accepts their loved-one as a resident, can and will provide the care and supervision needed to keep their loved-one safe, and that the center will advise them when their loved one needs a higher level of care.  Often what happens instead is that residents who need a higher degree of care are kept until they suffer a decline in health or become seriously injured (or killed) in a fall or accident.

The PBS Frontline documentary “Life and Death In Assisted Living” covers the issue more in depth:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/life-and-death-in-assisted-living/

If you have an hour, It’s well worth your time.