Grounds for Removal From an Assisted Living Community

When an older person moves into an assisted living community, there is a presupposition that he or she will remain in the center until such time as his or her needs change or that individual makes the decision to move somewhere else. As we discuss in a moment, these certainly are commonplace reasons why an individual leaves assisted living. With that said, in order to fully understand life in assisted living, it is necessary to understand all of the potential grounds upon which a person might leave or actually be removed from an assisted living community. The most frequently occurring include:

  • Medical needs exceed what can be provided by facility
  • Resident engages in harmful conduct
  • Resident violates admission agreement or other rules of facility
  • Resident violates the law
  • Resident cannot pay for services
  • Physician orders transfer
  • State orders transfer
  • Facility is closing

Medical Needs Exceed What Can Be Provided by Facility

The most commonplace reason why a resident ultimately departs an assisted living community is the fact the individual’s medical or psychological needs exceed what can be provided by a particular facility. In many instances, an individual in assisted living develops a memory issue, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. Addressing the needs of a person with dementia exceeds the capacity of what is available in some assisted living facilities.

Resident Engages in Harmful Conduct

What oftentimes is related to the onset of dementia, a resident begins to engage in conduct that is harmful to herself or others. While this might not be intentional conduct, it nevertheless presents a risk to the resident, other residents, and staff. This type of conduct nearly always necessitates a fairly immediate transition of a person out of assisted living and into some other type of living environment. 

Resident Violates Admission Agreement or Other Rules of Facility

When an individual enters into an agreement to reside in an assisted living community, that person agrees to a series of rules and regulations that are set forth in that contract. In addition, an assisted living community maintains a set of rules beyond the initial agreement that are designed to make life as pleasant as possible for all people living in the center. Violation of these various rules can and does lead to the removal of a resident from assisted living. (As an aside, in some instances the violation of contract or community rules proves to be indicative of the onset or advancement of memory problems, including dementia). 

Resident Violates the Law

Although less frequent in occurrence, there are instances in which an individual is removed from an assisted living community because that person violates the law. Legal infractions can come in a variety of different forms and might include illicit drug use or physically assaulting a staff member or other community resident. 

Resident Cannot Pay For Services

Unfortunately, there are situations in which a resident of an assisted living community has a change in his or financial status. If that occurs, a person might be unable to continue to meet the financial obligations associated with residing in a particular assisted living community. This does not mean that a person might not be able to find an alternative assisted living community in which to reside. What it does mean is that the person unable to continue to pay for services at a current assisted living center will need to transition out of the community.

Physician Orders Transfer

Oftentimes tied with a facility’s inability to meet medical or psychological needs of a resident, another reason why an individual will end up removed from assisted living is a physician ordering a transfer. For example, an individual may have advancing dementia and remaining in an assisted living community is not safe for that person. Recognizing the situation, the resident’s primary care physician or a memory specialist may order the individual to obtain services at a facility more suitable to the situation that a traditional assisted living community. In this day and age, there are memory centers with staff and services specifically designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with memory issues, Alzheimer’s, and other types of dementia.

State Orders Transfer

Although not as commonplace as other grounds for transfer or removal, there are situations in which the state can order a person to move from a particular assisted living community. This type of scenario is most likely to occur when a resident of an assisted living community ends up the subject of some type of judicial order that initiates the involvement of adult protective services in the individual’s care. Adult protective services makes a determination that the best interests of a vulnerable adult are served in some other type of residential setting.

Facility Is Closing

Finally, a reason why a resident of assisted living might be removed from a community is because the facility itself is closing. The closure of an assisted living community is not particularly commonplace, but it does occur from time to time. The typical reason why an assisted living facility community is closing usually is related to the company’s financial status. The objective when this happens is to attempt to get residents moved to a similar facility with all deliberate speed. 

As was noted at the beginning, when moving into an assisted living community, it is important to understand all aspects of life in such a center. This includes having a general understanding of what can trigger a person to relocate or be removed from an assisted living facility.