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(52,130 posts)
Thu Aug 25, 2022, 12:54 PM Aug 2022

When Private Equity Takes Over a Nursing Home

Tweet text:Yasmin Rafiei
Just over a year ago, I read a paper which showed that when private equity buys nursing homes, death rates go up 10%. I was a med student at Stanford, but I halted my studies to investigate. Today, that investigation was published in @NewYorker

When Private Equity Takes Over a Nursing Home
After an investment firm bought St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged, in Richmond, Virginia, the company reduced staff, removed amenities, and set the stage for a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.
3:10 AM · Aug 25, 2022


No paywall

When St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged, a brown-brick nursing home in Richmond, Virginia, was put up for sale, in October, 2019, the waiting list for a room was three years long. “People were literally dying to get in there,” Debbie Davidson, the nursing home’s administrator, said. The owners, the Little Sisters of the Poor, were the reason. For a hundred and forty-seven years, the nuns had lived at St. Joseph’s with their residents, embodying a philosophy that defined their service: treat older people as family, in facilities that feel like a home.

St. Joseph’s itself was pristine. The grounds were concealed behind a thicket of tall oaks and flowering magnolias; residents strolled in manicured gardens, past wooden archways and leafy vines. Inside the bright, two-story building, the common areas were graceful and warm—a china cabinet here, an upright piano there. An aviary held chirping brown finches; an aquarium housed shimmering fish. The gift shop, created in 2005, to fund-raise for tsunami relief in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean earthquake, sold residents’ handmade aprons and dish towels. People gathered everywhere: in line for the home’s hair salon, over soup in the dining rooms, against handrails in the hallway, where the floors were polished to a shine. “Take a deep breath,” a resident, Ross Girardi, told me, during a visit in May of 2021. He reclined in a plush armchair. “Deeper! What don’t you smell? A nursing home.”

The home fostered unexpected relationships. Girardi, a former U.S. Army combat medic, first discovered St. Joseph’s as a volunteer, in the early nineteen-eighties; thirty years later, he and his wife, Rae, decided to grow old there. Jennifer Schoening, a floor technician, was unhoused before she started at St. Joseph’s. A social worker from the nursing home had approached her on a street corner in Richmond, where Schoening was panhandling, and told her that the Little Sisters had an opening. She began working in the pantry, serving meals and brewing fresh coffee, and found an apartment nearby. Ramon Davila, the home’s maintenance technician at the time, worked in a shop next door to Schoening’s supply room. The two got married on the terrace in front of St. Joseph’s last year. “It got to be that the building wasn’t just my safe spot,” Schoening said. “He was my safe spot.”

The Little Sisters of the Poor was founded by Jeanne Jugan, who, in the winter of 1839, took in an elderly widow off the streets of Brittany. Jugan is said to have carried the woman, who was blind and partially paralyzed, up her home’s narrow spiral staircase—and given up her own bed. (Jugan herself slept in the attic.) From this first act of care, the Little Sisters grew. Jugan took in two more women, then rented a room to house a dozen. A year later, she acquired a former convent to support forty elderly people. Charles Dickens, after visiting one of Jugan’s homes in Paris, described the experience in the English magazine Household Words. “The whole sentiment,” Dickens wrote, “is that of a very large and very amiable family.”


10 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
When Private Equity Takes Over a Nursing Home (Original Post) Nevilledog Aug 2022 OP
Here's the formula: no_hypocrisy Aug 2022 #1
Or is deemed uncontrollable and needs to be in another facility (not ours). keithbvadu2 Aug 2022 #2
After my knee replacement I was put in a SNF thecrow Aug 2022 #6
I will never go into a nursing home. I will kill myself first. scarletlib Aug 2022 #3
we never know when the gears are going to strirp onethatcares Aug 2022 #5
Put it in your legal papers thecrow Aug 2022 #7
I have a DNR. In addition I have several methods of suicide scarletlib Aug 2022 #9
Damn. K&R for visibility. crickets Aug 2022 #4
Kick thecrow Aug 2022 #8
I agree with the professor... Hermit-The-Prog Aug 2022 #10


(47,195 posts)
1. Here's the formula:
Thu Aug 25, 2022, 01:06 PM
Aug 2022

1. Admit a patient and immediately medicate him/her to twilight status.
2. While in twilight status, have him/her sign a Power of Attorney to a nursing home administrator.
3. POA drains the assets of patient (e.g, bank account, home, car, etc.)
4. Patient has convenient heart attack or catches Covid and dies.


(38,099 posts)
2. Or is deemed uncontrollable and needs to be in another facility (not ours).
Thu Aug 25, 2022, 01:14 PM
Aug 2022

Or is deemed uncontrollable and needs to be in another facility (not ours).

Dumped to be not our responsibility anymore.


(5,520 posts)
6. After my knee replacement I was put in a SNF
Thu Aug 25, 2022, 03:49 PM
Aug 2022

The next morning, still without being given any pain medication from the night before, I was presented with this huge bunch of papers describing how the facility could get into my finances and control my property, sell my house, etc.
They looked kind of shocked… I guess they had never heard anyone say “Hell no, I refuse to sign anything like this!!”

I read this whole article. It was heartbreaking. I could tell you horror stories of what I saw while I was there until I asked (begged) my doctor to send me home, so I know of what I speak.
Then I forwarded it to my kids and their partners with the explicit directions to NEVER sign me in or allow a doctor to sign me in to any such facility(including a senior “facility”).


(16,414 posts)
5. we never know when the gears are going to strirp
Thu Aug 25, 2022, 03:13 PM
Aug 2022

or grind the wrong way.

I don't want to be put in a chair out in a hallway to shit my self as the over worked aides and nurses rush by.

I don't know how to stop that from happening, no matter how good I think my family is.


(3,441 posts)
9. I have a DNR. In addition I have several methods of suicide
Thu Aug 25, 2022, 07:49 PM
Aug 2022

Planned. Finally I believe (know) my children will respect my wishes.


(35,138 posts)
10. I agree with the professor...
Thu Aug 25, 2022, 10:48 PM
Aug 2022

At homes with fewer direct-care nurses, residents are bathed less. They fall more, because there are fewer hands to help them to the bathroom or into bed. They suffer more dehydration, malnutrition, and weight loss, and higher self-reported pain levels. They develop more pressure ulcers and a greater number of infections. They make more emergency-room visits, and they’re hospitalized more often.“They get all kinds of problems that could be prevented,” Charlene Harrington, a professor emeritus of sociology and nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, said, of residents at homes with lower nurse-staffing levels. “It’s criminal.”

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