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Activists Raise Alarm for Seniors, Deliver Carbon Monoxide Detectors to Atria Marland Place
Date:1/27/2008

Local assisted living facility in violation of "Nicole's Law" designed to

protect vulnerable residents

ANDOVER, Mass., Jan 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Are local seniors safe at Atria Senior Living? That's what members of the Campaign to Improve Assisted Living and SEIU Healthcare were asking after learning that Atria's Marland Place facility at 15 Stevens Street in Andover was found in violation of state law requiring carbon monoxide detectors that would warn residents and staff of the presence of this odorless, colorless gas. To help protect seniors, and raise the alarm over these safety problems, members of the Campaign delivered carbon monoxide detectors to the facility today.

Carbon monoxide detectors can cost as little as $16 each. Atria Senior Living, one of the nation's largest assisted living corporations, should be able to pay for this important safety equipment.

Referred to as the "silent killer," carbon monoxide poisoning is particularly dangerous for the elderly as the symptoms can be easily confused with other ailments such as the flu or fatigue. According to a new study (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5650a1.htm?s_cid=mm5650a1_e) by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first month of the year is the worst for carbon monoxide poisoning. At least two people die each day from carbon-monoxide poisoning in January -- three times the fatality rate recorded in August and July. Unintentional carbon monoxide exposure accounted for 15,000 emergency room visits annually between 1999 and 2004, with an average of 439 people dying each year.

"Nicole's Law," (http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/2005/10/nicoles-law.html) passed in November 2005, requires all Massachusetts buildings used at least in part for residential purposes to have carbon monoxide detectors. This includes nursing homes and assisted living facilities such as Atria Marland Place.

Unfortunately, Atria Senior Living has a history of failing to properly care for residents, particularly in emergencies. In addition to failing to protect residents from possible carbon monoxide poisoning in Andover, other Atria facilities have been cited numerous times for placing residents in situations that make their safe evacuation difficult, and for housing residents who are not able to evacuate on their own in an emergency.

Atria Senior Living is one of the largest senior living providers in the country, with more than 130 facilities in 27 states. Atria operates 10 facilities in Massachusetts and the company is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

More details on Atria are available at http://www.improveassistedliving.org/.

The Campaign to Improve Assisted Living is an SEIU Healthcare campaign that unites assisted living caregivers with residents, family members, and senior advocates to stand for quality services for seniors and a voice on the job for caregivers. More than 1 million healthcare workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and in-home care have united in SEIU Healthcare for quality care and quality jobs.


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SOURCE Campaign to Improve Assisted Living
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