The stereotype of caring for a family member is that it’s so stressful it harms the caregiver’s health. But that’s not necessarily so . . .
More and more elderly Americans are choosing to spend their later years in assisted living facilities, which have sprung up as an alternative to nursing homes. But is this loosely regulated, multi-billion dollar industry putting seniors at risk? In a major investigation, ProPublica and PBS’ FRONTLINE examines the operations of the nation’s largest assisted living company, raising questions about the drive for profits and fatal lapses in care.
When the ambulance crew arrived, about 8:20 p.m., Joan Boice was in the TV lounge, face-down on the carpet. Her head had struck the floor with some velocity; bruises were forming on her forehead and both cheeks. It appeared she’d lost her balance and fallen out of a chair.
On Sept. 30, 2008, an employee at the Emerald Hills assisted living facility in Auburn, Calif., made an entry in a company computer log:“pressure ulcer/wound.”
Finding reliable data on assisted living isn’t easy.
Federal and state statistics can be hard to come by, and it’s often simpler to search for restaurant reviews on Yelp than it is to locate ratings and reviews for a local assisted living facility.
So where do consumers begin if they’re considering sending a loved one to assisted living?
After 20 years as a busy ER doctor, Linda Smith now finds satisfaction guiding patients through treatment for life-threatening illnesses.
As in previous years, many of the patients who received medication told prescribing physicians about concern over loss of autonomy as a reason for participating, the report said.
One state after another has adopted a new end-of-life document designed to ensure that patients’ wishes will be observed as death approaches.
And Seattle Times staff columnist Danny Westneat questions the growing role of the Catholic church in healthcare in Washington state.
“There are situations where we cannot take that person to surgery because we think it’s certain death, but under this law, we’d have no choice . . . It asks us to violate our primary oath which is first to do no harm.”
Michael Hebb wants Americans to engage in a conversation about how they want to die, a conversation that could change the high cost of caring for the terminally ill and grant patients their ultimate requests.
Veteran health reporter Charles Ornstein writes about how his mother’s death has changed how he thinks about end-of-life care.