It seems that assisted living isn’t hip enough for the 90210 area. Residents in the zip code made popular on television said that they have had enough of assisted living facilities in their area.
A new facility designed for seniors with dementia was planned for an area near the Melrose Place strip after a building from the 1920’s was demolished. Residents in the area began voicing their frustration and protesting such a move.
In Los Angeles there are what are called ‘clusters’ of assisted living, addiction centers, and nursing homes. These clusters are centered around areas of affluence – places where the upscale neighborhoods are full of people that can afford expensive care for family and themselves. According to one study there are 24 facilities of some sort (senior or addiction) in the Melrose Place strip. Residents of the area are angry at the prospect of another.
Their reasoning is that there are too many facilities already. They site such reasons as: more trouble parking, more police calls, emergency ambulance sirens, and also the possibility of a dementia resident wandering away.
Much of the media focus in this story is on how residents are not wanting more elderly in the neighborhood. This isn’t really the truth, as all of the concerns voiced by residents are valid. No other areas outside of ‘rich’ locales have such clusters of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or addiction centers. Most of the facilities in this are for-profit centers, this means they are charging much higher prices for services as compared to non-profit centers.
In a nutshell, the people behind the centers are out to make a buck, not to provide a needed service. The Melrose Place residents would not be as upset if local facilities were expanding in order to help more locals, or adding more services, it is the prospect of yet one more person opening an even more expensive center that concerns them.
No one is sure exactly how this health care drama will end, but we can all be sure that it will include as much drama as the famous 90210 program.