You need to investigate mom’s assisted living home before she starts living there
After a jury imposed $23 million in punitive damages against a large assisted living provider, people are looking again at the place where they have mom living. An assisted living home is:
- Supposed to provide a place where mom can feel safe, warm and loved.
- A business. The owner has a right to make a profit, if they run the business well.
The two can exist hand-in hand. Here are some details on this case. Back in September, 2008, an Alzheimer’s patient, Joan Boyce, checked in to Emeritus at Emerald Hills in Auburn. She checked out in December after developing bedsores. She died three months after moving out, with the sores listed as a significant condition leading to her death.
This should never have happened
During the trial, jurors learned Emeritus was more concerned with making a profit and growing the company than it was in providing the assisted living care that old people need. The Sacramento Bee reports an, “Emerald Hills resident nurse told a caregiver at Emerald Hills who first found the sores to ‘just don’t let anybody know,’ because the disclosure would have resulted in Mrs. Boice’s removal from the facility.” Removal would have meant an empty bed and loss of income.
Emeritus could have survived the lost revenue. They had $116 million profit last year and had paid no federal income taxes over the past three years. Emeritus was pushing to become the largest assisted living company. They were successful at that goal.
This is a risk you incur when you board mom at a larger assisted living company. You could end up with an organization that is preoccupied with its own growth at the expense of providing the assisted living care old people need. You need to know when a facility is being run correctly.
Use this checklist when visiting assisted living homes
I found http://lakewoodvillacarehome.com/assisted-living-in-sacramento/#correctly. They have a checklist that you should follow when looking for an assisted living home for mom.
- How many staff do you have? Make sure there is a healthy ratio of 4:1. Four residents to one staffer.
- What are their backgrounds?
- How is staff trained? Training is mandated at the State level. Certifications and licenses should hang on the wall.
- How long have you been in the business? The administrator should provide that answer.
- What references do you have? The administrator should be able to provide some.
Just because mom needs an assisted living environment does not mean you can drop her off and assume all will be well. You have to monitor mom’s care and the assisted living home where she resides. Mom deserves a place where she can feel safe, warm and loved. Most provide that environment. Some, unfortunately, create a blemish for the industry as a whole.
(I am responding to http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/09/5248716/sacramento-jury-slams-assisted.html)