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Senate to Examine Walkaway Deaths in Assisted-Living Facilities

The Washington Post
| Published January 16, 2024

The chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging is launching a review of safety lapses in the assisted-living industry, saying an investigation by The Washington Post into the deaths of dementia-care residents who have wandered from facilities had revealed “horrific” neglect and a “violation of trust.”

“The lack of transparency insulates them from attention because nobody has a foothold,” said Eric Carlson, director of long-term services and support advocacy at Justice in Aging.

In response to The Post’s finding that nearly 100 seniors have died over the past five years after leaving facilities unnoticed or being left unattended outside, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) sent letters Tuesday to the nation’s three largest assisted-living chain owners seeking information about their practices. The Post’s report is the first nationwide accounting of such deaths.

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