Assisted living facilities (ALF) have emerged as an elder-care alternative between the little-to-no care required for independent living residences, and the high level of care in skilled nursing homes. Due to the growing elderly population, ALFs have become very profitable investment vehicles. Many existing ALF chains are expanding, and corporations and trusts that traditionally have little or nothing to do with health care are looking to enter this growing market. Injecting the potential for significant profit into health care creates a natural tension — especially when profit may be increased by decreasing staff levels and competence. Litigation in this area is increasing.
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