PBS Report Suggests Assisted Living Facilities are too Loosely Regulated
A PBS “Frontline” report on assisted living facilities owned by Emeritus focuses on a series of recent cases that suggest assisted living facilities are too loosely regulated, are understaffed, and may be cutting corners putting profits before their residents.
Assisted living facilities do not face the same federal regulations as nursing homes. Many are now questioning the efficacy of self-regulation in assisted living settings.
The Death of George McAfee at an Emeritus Facility
“I cannot begin to tell you how horrific it was. We just hope he wasn’t conscious.” – Cheryl Morgan, daughter of George McAfee, to ABC News.
- George McAfee was a former running back for the Chicago Bears. As he aged, McAfee developed dementia.
- His family, after trying nursing homes, put him into an Emeritus assisted living facility finding its open areas and less “sterile” look favorable.
- According to reports, sometime during his stay at the facility, he got into unsupervised cleaning room and ingested some industrial strength cleaner.
- The caustic chemical burned his lips, esophagus, and lungs.
- An Emeritus staff member who found McAfee in bed coughing and spitting up into a Kleenex and on the floor asked the elderly man if he was ok, then left.
- When his family arrived to visit, they found him with black and blue lips and a face that looked like a “horror show death mask.”
- McAfee died 10 days later.
- Investigations showed that there was nobody to supervise the wing McAfee was in for thirty minutes when he found his way into the closet.
Boice Emeritus Lawsuit
- Emeritus was sued by Eric Boice after he found his mother, Joan Boice, was covered to bed sores that resulted from malnutrition and being confined to a bed and wheelchair.
- Ms. Boice health had declined so sharply over three months in the California nursing home that she fell down on the floor and was rushed via ambulance to a local hospital.
- The hospital staff discovered the bed sores which one nurse described as the worse case they had ever seen.
- Though Eric visited his mother daily, the he had never noticed the sores as his mother kept covered with a blanket upon his visits.
- Ms. Boice died soon after.
- Eric was offered a settlement $3.3 million to never mention the case again, but declined and successfully sued Emeritus for $23 million.
“The industry has an incredible emphasis on sales and revenue — and making as much money as possible.” – A.C. Thompson of ProPublica published by ABC News.
- Emeritus is the largest assisted living provider in the world.
- Emeritus currently reports $1.6 billion a year in revenue.
- The company runs 480 facilities housing 42,000 residents.
- The profit driven company is often accused of having under-staffed facilities, providing limited training, underpaying employees resulting in a high turnover and focusing more on profit than the care they are meant to provide.
- Concerns have risen that a lack of federal regulations in assisted living facilities allow for many problems to go unreported until it is too late.
Contact an Experienced Assisted Living Neglect Attorney
If you believe your loved one has experienced an injury due to assisted living facility neglect, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. We have the knowledge and experience to handle your loved one’s case. We will also take immediate action to prevent any further mistreatment. Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Your choice does matter. Contact Thomas J. Henry for immediate assistance.