Next year, the oldest baby boomers will turn 65, raising the question of how America will care for a burgeoning senior population unlike any the country has ever seen. The trend across the country is toward small, community-based residential care that involves little government regulation compared with that of traditional nursing homes. In theory, this is a great idea. But Seattle Times investigative reporter Michael Berens has spent more than a year and a half investigating abuses in such homes in Seattle, and has uncovered 236 unreported deaths linked to abuse or neglect in these adult family homes, as well as accounts of
elderly victims who were imprisoned in their rooms, roped into their beds at night, strapped to chairs during the day so they wouldn’t wander off, drugged into submission or left without proper medical treatment for weeks.