Our firm gets a local weekly newspaper called BLUE RIDGE BUSINESS JOURNAL. In September, an article (OP-ED Actually) was written about caregivers and how sometimes it is better for everyone to place that loved one in a facility rather than going through the struggle of providing care to an elderly parent.

The first part of the article states “DEBUNKING THE MYTH” and the writer goes on to discuss wonderful retirement community options.

She then goes on to discuss all of the wonderful facilities where (and yes this is a direct quote) “socialization and security aspects provided [by a facility] can make all the difference, actually enhancing a resident’s health, life span and emotional wellbeing – adding life to one’s years as well as years to one’s life.”

Does the author provide any medical study to support this? Any quote from a social worker, counselor or doctor to support this almost ridiculous statement that strangers are better caretakers than family? None.

Then we find out that the author works for one of Virginia’s largest FOR PROFIT health systems that owns nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the Commonwealth. She is Senior VP of operations.

A Nurse? Nope. Doctor? Nope. VP of OPERATIONS = sales and marketing. Her online resume says she specializes in the sales and marketing “of senior housing and senior services including assisted living, independent living, adult day services, continuing care communities, dementia care and skilled nursing.”

Ahh – well now the article doesn’t anger me as much because its truly propaganda. It only makes me sad that a local newspaper would print this self promoting fluff from a “guest columnist” and pass her baseless claims as fact.

Virginians – don’t believe everything you read, and please consider the source first. I would hate for you to read this article and disrupt the way you have cared for your loved one, so this VP of Operations can admit a new patient and someday, I get a new lawsuit.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at