The Seattle Times has conducted an extensive investigation into numerous deaths in and elder abuse dult homes across the state that have gone unreported to the state. In total, the investigation has uncovered 236 of these unreported deaths at state-licensed adult family homes. The Times looked at the nearly 5,000 death certificates of those who died in adult homes between 2003 and 2008. Compared to nursing homes, adult homes has less regulations and are more inexpensive than nursing homes. Many of them are tucked away in neighborhoods with a more “homey” feel.
However, compared to nursing homes, adult homes have some disturbing statistics. According to this news report, adult homes experience 3.5 times more bed-sore deaths. There are more than four times the rate of deaths from falls and choking deaths skyrocket to 15 times more than in a nursing home. These adult homes are ‘regulated’ by the Department of Social and Health Services and can provide long-term care for up to six seniors.
There are currently 2,984 privately-owned adult homes across the state. Amazingly enough, the state has been applauded for offering innovative care choices for the elderly and other states plan to mimic our program. However, with so many of these adult homes, the DSHS has difficulty keeping tabs on all of them and the deaths aren’t tracked. As a personal injury attorney in Seattle, these reports are extremely horrifying. I plan to continue to share the results of this Seattle Times investigation in an attempt to shed light on this growing issue.