In late July, assisted living hit headlines in a big way: a PBS documentary, Life and Death in Assisted Living, put the country’s largest provider, Emeritus Senior Living, in the hot seat after the tragic death of a resident caught the attention of local — and eventually national — media, public officials, residents’ families, and community leaders. (Read more about the program in our post, Assisted Living Under Attack.)
Now, as blogger Steve Moran reports in a recent article in his Senior Housing Forum, another big provider is making the news, and not in a good way. Holiday Retirement, which owns and operates assisted living and independent living communities across North America, is allegedly “targeting low income veterans with the promise that a special program call Aid and Attendance and Home-bound Status (‘Aid and Attendance’) will make the unaffordable affordable.”
The Aid & Attendance benefit is a legitimate program available to eligible veterans and their surviving spouses, and one that we’ve covered here in A Round-Up of Senior Care Payment Options. Unfortunately, some assisted living providers may have misled potential residents as to how far the benefits will go, or how soon they would kick in.
Whether Holiday Retirement is found guilty or not, the lesson here is similar to the one generated by the PBS story: no matter what the news reports say about a company, family members and friends must be involved in their loved one’s care for the entire duration of an assisted living stay — before, during and after move-in.