Families Question Assisted Living Facilities' Policies

Southern California families are asking if their loved ones would be taken care of in an emergency

By Gordon Tokumatsu and Olga Spilewsky
|  Monday, Mar 4, 2013  |  Updated 10:19 PM PDT
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An 87-year-old woman died following an incident in which a nurse refused to perform CPR at an independent senior living center in Bakersfield. California state law does not require independent living centers to perform CPR, forcing families to question how their loved ones would be cared for during an emergency. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Thousand Oaks for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on March 4, 2013.

Gordon Tokumatsu

An 87-year-old woman died following an incident in which a nurse refused to perform CPR at an independent senior living center in Bakersfield. California state law does not require independent living centers to perform CPR, forcing families to question how their loved ones would be cared for during an emergency. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Thousand Oaks for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on March 4, 2013.

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In the wake of an incident in Bakersfield where a nurse refused to perform CPR on an elderly woman, who subsequently died, Southern California families are now asking how their loved ones would be taken care of in an emergency.

California state law does not require independent living centers to perform the life-saving technique.

Lisa Minyard is looking for an assisted living center for her 82-year-old mother, who has the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease. One center provides around-the-clock care, including specialized aid for her dementia.

But one senior care advisor said it depends on the facility as to whether workers will provide CPR.

"It depends on what licensing requires," said senior care advisor Lori Bliss. "It depends on what the admission agreements state."

Experts advise asking specific questions about how workers will handle an emergency, when looking for a facility for loved ones.

Listen: Retirement Home Worker Refused 911 Dispatcher Begging Her to Perform CPR

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