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Assisted living facilities may evict residents: Protect yourself and the people you love

Written by Diane Archer

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:

  1. Ask about what the assisted living facility will do and has done in terms of evicting residents.
  2. Ask how the facility will handle patients prone to falling as well as patients with dementia.
  3. Ask how the facility services residents who are incontinent.
  4. Ask about staffing levels.
  5. 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:

  1. Delay moving out.
  2. Ask a physician to evaluate you or your loved one to determine whether remaining in the facility makes sense.
  3. 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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1 Comment

  • It isn’t just Assisted Living facilities. I lived in an adult apartment complex for older adults who could no longer live by themselves but were fairly independent. They hired the worst people imaginable.
    Some of these people abused the residents physically and mentally. These residents did not speak up for fear of retaliation.
    When I started standing up to management about the living conditions I was threatened with eviction. I was told that I was not the ombudsman and to keep my mouth shut.
    In fact, there was more than one death while I lived there. One was a suicide, another was due to neglect. It’s this incident which caused me to move.
    This resident paid for all services, including meals and housekeeping. One day the resident didn’t show up for meals. This was unusual because she never missed a meal.
    Her friends went to the Assistant Director and asked to do a wellness check. InsteaD of going to her apartment the Assistant Director tried to call her on the phone. When she didn’t answer the Assistant Director had the gall to tell her friends that she must be OK since she didn’t answer her phone.
    About a week later the housekeeper went in to clean her apartment. The housekeeper found her body in the bathroom.
    What’s worse is when the coroner’s inquest was held, management lied to the coroner and said that she had died the night before. There were several of us who wanted to attend the inquest but we were never told about it.

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