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Left in the Dark and Facing Thousands in Rent Increases, Elderly Atria Senior Living Residents Protest; Call for Improvements
Date:1/30/2008

As Gov. Threatens Cuts to State Assisted Living Inspections, Rents Soar and Problems Abound at State's Largest Senior Living Provider

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Elderly residents at Atria Senior Living's Covell Gardens facility continued their protests over exorbitant rent increases on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Residents and family members detailed how skyrocketing rents have affected them, and pointed to recent problems with care and services at the facility.

Atria Senior Living is California's largest senior living provider and is owned by an investment fund affiliated with the Lazard group of companies, including Lazard Ltd., a Wall Street firm that manages more than $140 billion. Atria operates more than 130 facilities nationwide, and many residents question if these increases are simply going to line the pockets of Wall Street managers and CEOs.

Atria residents already pay thousands of dollars per month for residency, costs that are compounded by additional fees for basic care like medication management, bathing, and help with dressing. Residents report that this is the second consecutive year of at least 8 percent increases.

But residents say that these high costs aren't going to resident care and safety.

"For two days our family members lived in the dark and cold because Atria didn't have a back-up generator," said Christine Donnelly, whose father lives at Atria Covell Gardens. "Costs are skyrocketing, but the money shouldn't be used to line the pockets of Wall Street CEOs, we need real improvements to care and safety."

Amid soaring rate hikes and problems with care and services at assisted living facilities like Atria's, Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing cuts to the state Department of Social Services, which licenses the facilities. The cuts would reduce the percentage of facilities chosen randomly for state inspections each year by more than 50 percent.

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SOURCE Campaign to Improve Assisted Living; SEIU Healthcare
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