“June (left) and Mary Kelly with a photo of their mother, Marilyn Kelly. Marilyn was living at Our House Too, in Rutland, Vt., before she died.” – James Buck/VPR/Seven Days
by Emily Corwin, Derick Brouwer, Andrea Suosso
“Some states call them assisted living facilities; others, residential or personal care homes. These state-licensed facilities promise peace of mind for families whose elders require long-term care. In Vermont and elsewhere, investigations into these homes have revealed lax oversight, injuries and deaths.
“Few understand the risks like June Kelly. Her mother, Marilyn Kelly, was energetic and loved to go fishing when she moved into Our House Too, a 13-bed facility that advertised its memory-care expertise. Over the next eight months, almost everything went wrong that could.
“Often, her daughters arrived to find their 78-year-old mom in a stupor. June arrived one day to discover Marilyn trying to feed herself but unable to find her mouth with her fork.
“‘She was in her pajamas, and there was excrement down her arm,’ she recalled.”