TV Broadcast on Life and Death in Assisted Living Set for July 30th

A PBS’ Frontline investigation of assisted living is set to air Tuesday evening, July 30th at 10:00 p.m.  (For the exact time the program will air in your market check local PBS listings). Recently, PBS began promoting the Frontline/ProPublicaLife and Death in Assisted Living” on its local stations.   Frontline and ProPublica are investigative journalism organizations.  Beyond the broadcasts, Frontline will post this program on its website and through its Facebook and Twitter accounts.  In addition, ProPublica will publish a “text investigation about the assisted living business” on July 30th.  

Frontline plans to profile several resident deaths as part of the piece.  In addition, Frontline will focus attention on the largest assisted living provider in the nation – Emeritus Senior Living. According to Frontline promotions, the piece will examine the relationship between profits and resident care.  

This is the first time in more than a decade that assisted living has received such negative attention on a national scale from broadcast media.   Since PBS re-airs its Frontline programs; it is highly likely that the episode will run multiple times in a local market.  While it is unclear whether this story will have “legs,” it is possible that local media may try to put a local angle on the national story.   NCAL has indicated that the Frontline piece will be difficult to watch for those who work in the assisted living field and have dedicated their lives to caring for the nation’s elderly and disabled.  Keep in mind that incidents that will be profiled are isolated, rare events and are not typical – which is why they are being included in the Frontline piece.

To help members respond to any local media inquiries, NCAL has developed a media guide as a resource.