Kaiser Health News reports that assisted living facilities throughout the US are evicting residents they claim they can no longer take care of on 30 days’ notice. In many cases, the assisted living facilities offer memory care and hospice care. But, they have the right to evict residents they no longer want to take care of. Here’s how to protect yourself and the people you love.
Reasons given for eviction from assisted living facilities vary. But, they can be startling to family members, who may have been led to believe that the facilities are able to care for their loved ones through the end of their lives.
Long-term care ombudsmen received complaints about such evictions nearly 3,000 times in 2016. That’s likely just the tip of the iceberg. Assisted living facility residents have little if any protections against evictions under state laws.
Under most state laws, assisted living facilities are permitted to evict patients who fail to pay for their residence as well as when the facility claims it cannot meet the needs of patients. The facilities do not have to prove that they have tried to meet the patients’ needs or demonstrate why they cannot do so. Unlike nursing homes, they also are not required to ensure their residents are discharged to another residence where they will be safe.
One of the ways assisted living facilities evict patients is by sending them to the hospital and then refusing to take them back when they are ready for discharge.
Here’s how to protect yourself and the people you love as best possible before moving into an assisted living facility:
- Ask about what the assisted living facility will do and has done in terms of evicting residents.
- Ask how the facility will handle patients prone to falling as well as patients with dementia.
- Ask how the facility services residents who are incontinent.
- Ask about staffing levels.
- Review the contract carefully, if possible, with the help of an expert; particularly look at what it says about involuntary transfers.
After moving into an assisted living facility, if you or someone you love receives an eviction notice:
- Delay moving out.
- Ask a physician to evaluate you or your loved one to determine whether remaining in the facility makes sense.
- If there is a safe solution to remaining at the facility, speak to the facility about that option.
Here’s how to slow down the eviction process:
- File a complaint with your local long-term care ombudsman’s office.The ombudsman’s office will investigate.
- Ask your local legal services office about filing a suit against the assisted living facility in landlord-tenant court or civil court.
- Or, ask for a “reasonable accommodation” under the federal Fair Housing Act.
- You can also wait for the assisted living facility to bring a legal action to evict you.
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