Continuing Care Retiring Communities Receive Increased Scrutiny

The New York Times: "For middle- and upper-income retirees who had the money, it was almost a no-brainer in recent years to choose living in a continuing-care retirement community. They could move, as the need arose, from independent living to assisted care to skilled nursing care — all without leaving the community." The Times reports on one such community -- Concordia of the South Hills that "was one of about 1,900 aging-in-place operations — many with waiting lists — that sprouted around the country, especially in California, Florida, the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic states, and provided homes for 900,000 people. Few of the communities — about 80 percent of which are operated by nonprofit organizations — have closed or gone bankrupt. But concerns are rising about their financial stability, entrance fees and how the fees are used, and reduced services. Governmental inquiries at several levels have voiced concerns and called on the communities' operators to disclose more information about their finances to residents and prospective customers" (Olson, 9/15).

The Seattle Times: "In an attempt to overhaul Washington's adult family-home system, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is seeking new laws to boost the cost of opening new homes, raise training requirements and hike enforcement penalties for violators. In addition, an adult-home-industry group asked DSHS to stop licensing new homes in three key counties — King, Snohomish and Clark. High vacancy rates are threatening to put dozens of owners out of business while reducing residents' quality of care. The proposed changes are in response to a continuing investigation by The Seattle Times, Seniors for Sale, which found 236 deaths of vulnerable adults that indicate neglect or abuse but were not reported to the state or investigated" (Berens, 9/15).

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