Assisted living finds itself at troubling crossroads

April 4, 2019

It’s no secret that more assisted living communities are competing with skilled care operators for high-need residents. But a recent piece in the New York Times is sure to raise troubling questions about this emerging strategy.

The story in question is headlined “Where There’s Rarely a Doctor in the House: Assisted Living.” Its basic premise is that assisted living operators rarely have a physician on site or on call, whereas about half don’t even have nurses available. As a result, when a resident becomes ill or injured, communities can do little more than call 911 and wait for an ambulance.

The piece offers several interesting perspectives. One is from Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. It repeats an assertion Laxton earlier made in a guest blog appearing on the McKnight’s Senior Living website: that medical services should be offered as part of the assisted living experience.