Two Must See Documentaries on Elder Care

Last week two different television programs aired about assisted living and elder care.  And, if you are like me and have an elderly parent, you probably watched, heard about or knew about these two documentaries/investigative reports.  And, if you are like me, you probably wanted to take the ignorance is bliss route and not watch them but common sense took over and you sat yourself down to face what was sure to be a difficult subject to watch.

Life and Death in Assisted Living aired on Frontline and Inside Man on elder care hosted by Morgan Spurlock (you know him from “Super Size Me” fame) aired on CNN.  You can watch Life and Death in Assisted Living on the PBS website.  Inside Man on elder care is airing on Xfinity until 8/25/13.   These will be two hours well spent learning about the realities of aging, elder care and assisted living for you and your loved ones.

Life and Death in Assisted Living should come with a warning.  It will scare the bejesus out of you hearing family members recount how their parents died while living at the assisted living facility investigated in this documentary.  And, hearing experts talk about the lack of oversight for assisted living facilities will not make you feel any better.

With Inside Man, Morgan Spurlock shares his family’s journey caring for his 91-year-old-grandmother.   It is honest, touching and I have a feeling a common scenario taking place across America.  The elderly want to stay in their home as long as they can and then something happens (illness, memory loss, death of a spouse) which necessitates the move to assisted living or a nursing home.

If knowledge is power I hope these two documentaries give families more power when making decisions on elder care.

P.S. My dad doesn’t live in the assisted living facility associated with this Frontline investigation but some of the same issues raised on this program also plague where he lives…high turnover among the staff, lean staff to resident ratio and a need for increased training.  I know the staff where my dad lives are doing the best they can and I truly appreciate what they do!  It is extremely hard work.

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