Assisted living can be a haven for many older adults who need just a little extra help to maintain their independence. What happens, though, when the facility's director calls and tells you that your elderly relative is being evicted?
That sort of thing happens all the time. For the facilities, it's often an issue of liability. When a senior's health deteriorates, the facility may make the determination that it simply can't meet the senior's needs. Sometimes, however, evictions are thinly-veiled punishments for seniors and family members who have complained about inadequate care.
Unlike a nursing home, an assisted living facility doesn't generally have to take the same steps to evict a troublesome resident. Nursing homes require extensive documentation of their efforts to give adequate care and must demonstrate how they are unable to meet a resident's needs.
Assisted living facilites also don't provide appeal rights when a family suspects that a decision is motivated by something other than a resident's need for care. Attorneys who specialize in elder law recommend that anyone considering assisted living do the following:
- Ask specific questions regarding the limits the facility places on care.
- Ask how many staff members are available at all times.
- Review your admission agreement line by line.
- Make certain that you fully understand the section that discusses involuntary transfers.
- Ask for any verbal promises to be written down.
If you do receive a notice of eviction from the facility later, don't jump to a new facility immediately. You can slow the process down by filing a complaint through your long-term care ombudsman, which will give you the time you need to have your senior evaluated and moved to a better place.
You can always consult an elder law attorney to see if you have the right to sue to keep your senior in place. Before you do that, however, consider the problems that could arise. You may not want your aging loved one to be in a place that doesn't want your senior there.
There are many complicated questions surrounding elder law and elder care. If you need help, an attorney will be glad to guide you.