Investigative reporters for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spent more than a year digging into records of every assisted living community and large personal care homes in Georgia. The newspaper exposes how too many facilities do not provide safe, quality care for senior citizens and how their families had no way to know what’s really going on. Essential in-depth local journalism that only the AJC can do. Read their investigation and search their exclusive database at AJC.com/unprotected.

Beginning Sunday: A closer look at how senior care falls short across the state

The senior care industry has been expanding rapidly in Georgia as the population ages and more of our senior citizens need assistance with daily living. High-end, private pay senior care homes offer communities that often boast the amenities of country clubs and promise a safe environment and quality care. 

Too often, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned, the reality is different from the promise. 

A team of journalists has spent nearly a year investigating assisted living and personal care homes in Georgia. They found scores of residential care facilities where older residents have suffered injuries, humiliation, even deaths. Seniors were left in urine-soaked briefs. Some waited hours after trying to summon help before anyone checked. Others complained of pain for days before they received medical care. And some were berated, pushed and even slapped by caregivers. 

In any industry, there are always a few bad actors. Yet the AJC found one in five facilities had serious patterns of violations that could put residents at risk.

Beginning Sunday, in print and on ajc.com, we examine those failures and the reasons behind them in a special investigative series, Unprotected. In coming weeks and months, we’ll reveal the ways Georgia falls short in regulating homes, the ways the for-profit business model can put residents at risk and the steps you can take to keep family members safe. On a special project website, we’ll provide information on some 400 homes across Georgia and a consumer guide to help inform those who might be choosing a community for parents or themselves. 

Our seniors deserve to age with dignity and receive the best protection Georgia can provide. It’s disappointing to learn how far we fall short. But only by examining the failures can we begin to discuss how to improve. 

This important work would not be possible without the support of readers like you, who buy or subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution or are patrons of ajc.com. Your support makes Georgia a better place to live and to age. 

Kevin Riley, Editor

Local in-depth journalism is essential to keep our community informed and hold public officials accountable. Please start or renew your subscription so we can continue to uncover what’s really going on in our community.

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