For the elderly, it happens unexpectedly and all too often: They suffer a stroke or break a hip and find themselves unable to live safely in their home. Suddenly, their family must scramble to find them care and a new place to stay.
Dozens of private agencies in Washington state promise to guide families through the labyrinth of options to an adult family home or assisted-living facility that best fits their needs — all for free.
But behind these free offers can lurk a hidden cost.
Placement companies, which rely on commission-only sales people, funnel the aged only to facilities that have agreed to pay thousands of dollars in finders' fees.
In addition, most placement companies do not screen homes for past violations. As a result, many have referred seniors to facilities with documented histories of substandard care, including fatal neglect.
In 143 cases over the past three years, seniors were victimized after companies placed them in adult family homes, or other long-term- care facilities, that had a record of serious violations, a Times analysis of Department of Social and Health Services documents reveals. The documents did not identify placement companies by name.
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Senior Care Placement Companies Scramble to Cash In
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