As our population ages, more of our seniors are moving into assisted living facilities. The number of such facilities has nearly tripled over the past two decades, with construction of memory care units the fastest-growing segment of senior care. Half of assisted living residents are age 85 and older, and over 40 percent have some form of dementia.
In “How Not to Grow Old in America,” an article by Geeta Anand in the New York Times last year, the author discusses caring for her parents, notes the above trends, and argues that if assisted living “is to be a long-term solution for seniors who need substantial care, then it needs serious reform, including requirements for higher staffing levels and substantial training.” She cites examples of deaths and injuries that have befallen seniors at assisted living facilities in California and elsewhere.
While Ms. Anand’s focus is on the physical care of seniors in assisted living, the transition from a home environment to an assisted living environment also can lead to serious financial elder abuse.