Understanding Residency Agreements, Part 4 – Residency Qualifications

The purpose of the Understanding Residency Agreements series is to provide you with a working knowledge of the contract you’ll likely face should you choose assisted living for your loved one. The contract we’ll use as an example is from a major corporate assisted living company.  Many of these contracts can be found by searching Google, but I believe this agreement serves as a good example.

Part 4 of the series will discuss residency qualifications.

VII. Residency Qualifications

This section is designed to protect both your loved one and the assisted living community.  Why?  Assisted living communities are only licensed and staffed to provide certain types of care.  By defining the qualifications of residency, the community ensures they have the staff and resources to take care of your loved one.   There are also requirements to protect other residents such as those requirements around contagions like tuberculosis.

Some things you should be aware of:

  • Review the minimum requirements carefully and make sure your loved one meets these requirements.  It’s important to be honest with yourself, as you don’t want to be in a situation where you’ve violated the agreement within the first week.
  • Does the contract state what happens in the event your loved one ceases to meet these requirements?  For example, will they be forced to move out and with what notice? Is there an appeal process to dispute whether your loved one meets the requirements?  How does that process work?
  • Some facilities may require the presentation of medical records or results from a recent medical exam.  Make sure the contract ensures the results of the exam are kept confidential except as released by you or your loved one.
  • Some facilities may require a pre-admission assessment in which a nurse and community executive conduct an interview and/or medical exam.  Make sure to understand in advance the purpose of the exam and what will be covered.

Skilled Nursing Transfers

My mother came to assisted living from a skilled nursing facility.  In her case, the assisted living community did not conduct a pre-admission assessment. However, they did require medical records from the skilled nursing facility and had a lengthy conversation with the head nurse.

In this case, you should follow up with both parties to ensure consistency of the results. The goal here is to avoid any inconsistencies during the admission process.

While this part of the contract may in some cases appear intimidating, it is important to realize that it benefits both parties.

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