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Moving Your Parent Out: Can You Leave Assisted Living?

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Moving Your Parent Out Of Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities, sometimes known as a senior living community, provide a comfortable environment for older adults, offering a combination of housing, personal care services, and health care.

They are designed to cater to individuals who require assistance with activities of daily living but wish to live as independently as possible.

However, there may come a time when you or your loved one might consider moving out of such a facility.

If you’re considering moving your elderly parents out of an assisted living facility, it’s a good idea to reach out to your local area agency on aging.

They can help provide information about other housing options in the community and create an individual care plan that meets the person’s needs.

This article goes over the reasons, implications, and processes involved in making such a decision.

Why Would Someone Consider Leaving An Assisted Living Facility?

There are various reasons why someone might contemplate leaving an assisted living facility:

Change In Medical Condition

A significant improvement or deterioration in the resident’s medical condition might necessitate a change.

It may be that the person requires a higher level of care such as skilled nursing care or more medical assistance or perhaps dementia care.

Perhaps they simply are not able to perform daily activities safely anymore.

These types of changes would mean moving to a nursing home or back home with 24-hour care.

It’s also important to note that if a resident becomes non-weight bearing, some assisted living facilities will require that they either employ personal care services or move on to a skilled care placement.

This is exactly what happened to my mom-in-law who decided to stay and hire a personal aide for her needs.

But, a resident who has recovered from a temporary health setback might no longer need the level of care provided by the facility, so that would certainly be a reason to move.

Financial Constraints

Assisted living can be expensive. If a resident’s financial situation changes, they might find it challenging to afford the costs.

In 2023, the average cost of a nursing home room was $108,000 a year. A high-end assisted living facility averaged $84,000 a year.

Of course, if you have a financial advisor I would certainly recommend that you speak with him or her about your options.

An assisted living facility does have the right to send an eviction notice, typically 30 days in advance and with the reason(s) as to why they are requesting the resident to move.

You may want to consider contacting a senior care attorney to determine if you can fight the eviction and work with the facility on a payment plan.

It’s essential to understand the terms of the residency agreements and know the implications of breaking them.

Medicare Coverage Of Assisted Living Facilities

Medicare is a national health insurance program in the United States, primarily providing health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older, but also for some younger individuals with specific disabilities.

Here’s a breakdown of Medicare’s coverage related to assisted living facilities and other services:

Medicare PartCoverage
Part ACovers hospital, skilled nursing, and hospice services.
Part BCovers outpatient services.
Part CAn alternative that allows patients to choose their own plans with different benefit structures. These plans provide the same services as Parts A and B, often with additional benefits.
Part DCovers self-administered prescription drugs.

However, it’s important to note that while Medicare provides health insurance for a significant portion of the elderly population in the U.S., it covers only about half of the healthcare expenses of those enrolled.

Beneficiaries often cover most of the remaining costs by taking additional private insurance or by joining a public Medicare Part C and/or Medicare Part D health plan.

Additionally, Medicare does not consider long-term custodial care (which many assisted living facilities provide) as health care. As a result, the costs of such care are not covered by Medicare.

Personal Preferences

Over time, a resident’s preferences or unique needs might change.

Your elderly parents might not be adjusting to assisted living or they might desire a different living environment, closer proximity to family members, or even a change in climate or more living space.

It’s crucial to recognize the signs when it might be time for assisted living.

Understanding The Implications Of Leaving

Before making a decision, it’s crucial to understand the potential consequences:

Contractual Obligations

Most assisted living facilities require residents to sign a contract.

This contract might have stipulations about the notice period required before leaving and any financial implications, such as forfeiting a security deposit.

Medical Care Transition

Transitioning to a new assisted living facility or other care setting might mean a change in medical care providers.

It’s essential to ensure that the new setting can provide good care and cater to the resident’s specific needs and that there’s a smooth transition in medical care.

Emotional And Social Impact

Moving can be emotionally challenging, especially for older adults. They might have formed bonds with staff members and other residents.

It’s crucial to consider the emotional and social implications of such a move which can impact the quality of life they currently have.

Here’s a resource that provides more insights into the implications of leaving your assisted living community.

Steps To Take When Considering Leaving

If you or your loved one is contemplating leaving an assisted living facility, here are some steps to consider:

Consult With Medical Professionals

Before making any decisions, consult with the resident’s primary care physician and any specialists they see.

They can provide guidance on whether a move is medically advisable and the right choice to make.

Also, don’t disregard the help that health care providers such as social workers or geriatric care managers can give you. They can provide you with a list of other care options in your area and help you to choose one.

Make no mistake, this can be a difficult decision for anyone – you don’t have to make it alone.

Review The Contract

Go through the residency agreement to understand any obligations or penalties associated with leaving. A social worker or geriatric care manager can assist you with this.

Seek Legal Counsel

If there are concerns about breaking the contract or any potential legal action, it might be wise to consult an elder law attorney.

Research Alternative Living Arrangements

Whether considering home care, independent living, or moving to a skilled nursing facility, it’s essential to research and visit potential new living arrangements.

Ensure they meet the resident’s needs and are a good choice for their well-being.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on alternative living arrangements for seniors.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A New Living Arrangement

When looking for a new place to live, consider the following factors:

Level Of Care Needed

Does the resident require custodial care, skilled nursing services, or memory care?

Ensure the new facility can provide the necessary level of care.


Is the facility close to family and friends?

Is it in a local area that the resident is familiar with and comfortable in?


Can the resident afford the new living arrangement?

Consider both the immediate costs and long-term financial implications.

Facility Reputation

Research the facility’s reputation.

Look for reviews, and consider visiting the facility to get a feel for the environment and the staff members.

Here’s another resource that provides tips on choosing the right assisted living facility.

The Process Of Leaving An Assisted Living Facility

When considering the move, it’s essential to be informed and prepared.

Here are some steps to guide the process:

  1. Review the Residency Agreement: Before making any decisions, review the contract you signed with the assisted living facility. It will outline the terms and conditions related to moving out, including any notice periods or financial penalties.
  2. Consult with Medical Professionals: If the reason for moving is health-related, consult with the resident’s doctor or a geriatric care manager. They can provide insights into the resident’s current and future care needs.
  3. Consider Alternative Living Arrangements: If assisted living is no longer suitable, what are the alternatives? Whether it’s moving back home with home care support, transitioning to a nursing home, or exploring other senior living options, it’s essential to find the right fit for the resident’s needs. You can explore the different levels of assisted living and nursing home care to make an informed decision.
  4. Plan the Move: Once you’ve decided to move, plan the logistics. This includes notifying the facility, arranging for the physical move, and ensuring the new living environment is set up and ready.

Remember, whether the move is due to advanced cognitive impairment or simply the need for more caregiving services or just a personal preference, there are facilities available (and hopefully in your area) that can accommodate.

When considering leaving an assisted living facility, it’s essential to be aware of the legal and regulatory implications:

State Regulations And Laws

Each state in the United States has its own set of regulations governing assisted living facilities.

These regulations might cover aspects like the notice period required for leaving, conditions under which a resident can be asked to leave, and the rights of residents.

Involuntary Discharge And Eviction

There are circumstances under which a resident might be asked to leave an assisted living facility involuntarily.

This could be due to non-payment, a change in the resident’s medical needs that the facility cannot cater to, or behavioral issues.

It’s essential to be aware of the resident’s rights in such situations and the process for involuntary discharge.

Legal Recourse

If a resident feels they have been unfairly asked to leave or if there are disputes regarding payments or other contractual aspects, they might need to take legal action.

Consulting with an elder law attorney can provide clarity on the best course of action.

This resource provides detailed information on the legal aspects of moving out of a nursing home.

Transitioning To A New Care Setting

When moving out of an assisted living facility, it’s crucial to ensure a smooth transition to the new care setting:

Medical Care Transition

Ensure that all medical records are transferred to the new care provider.

This includes information on the resident’s medical condition, medications, treatment plans, and any other relevant details.

Personal Belongings

Make a checklist of all personal belongings and ensure they are safely packed and moved to the new location.

Social And Emotional Support

Moving can be emotionally challenging. Ensure that the resident has the necessary emotional and social support during the transition.

This could involve counseling or support from family members.

Financial And Contractual Aspects

Ensure that all financial obligations to the current facility are settled.

Also, if moving to another care facility, understand the terms of the new contract.

This article provides insights into making a smooth transition to a new care setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main reasons residents leave assisted living facilities?

The primary reasons include changes in medical condition, financial constraints, and personal preferences.

Can a resident be asked to leave without any notice?

This depends on the state regulations and the terms of the contract signed with the facility. However, in most cases, a notice period is required.

What should be the first step if considering leaving an assisted living facility?

Consult with medical professionals to understand the implications of the move on the resident’s health and well-being.

Are there any financial penalties for leaving early?

This would depend on the terms of the contract signed with the facility. It’s essential to review the contract and consult with an attorney if needed.

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