Frontline: Life and Death in Assisted Living

Frontline: Life and Death in Assisted Living

Tuesday, July 30 at 10:00 p.m.

With America’s population of seniors growing faster and living longer than ever before, more and more families are turning to assisted living facilities to help their loved ones age in comfort and safety.

But are some in the loosely regulated, multibillion-dollar assisted living industry putting the lives of those loved ones at risk?

In a major investigation with ProPublica, "Frontline" examines the operations of the nation’s largest assisted living company, raising questions about the drive for profits and fatal lapses in care.

Nearly 750,000 people live in assisted living facilities across the country. National for-profit chains, concerned both about caring for their residents and pleasing their shareholders, have come to dominate the industry. Standards for care and training—and even definitions for the term “assisted living”—vary from state to state. Assisted living facilities, unlike nursing homes, are not regulated by the federal government. Meanwhile, those winding up in assisted living, year after year, are sicker and more frail, and many of them are afflicted with dementia.

Pictured: Cheryl Morgan, whose story is featured in "Life and Death in Assisted Living," holds a photo of her late father, who had dementia. He died after drinking unsecured toxic dishwashing liquid at a Georgia assisted living facility.