NPR just ran an article about a policy change made at an Assisted Living Concepts senior community in Seattle. It seems when Cornelia Robertson first moved in 10 years ago she was promised she would always be able to stay, even if she ran out of money. Well she has now run out of money and due to a policy change, can't stay. It seems this Assisted Living Concepts community is no longer accepting Medicaid patients.
When we read stories like these, we often get angry at the injustice of it all. I ache for Cornelia and her family. What a terrible situation for them to be in.
But, I do have questions about this situation that aren't covered in the NPR story.
- What kind of care does Cornelia require?
- Is her current home meeting all of her needs, or has her health changed so that she requires something her current home can't provide her?
- Is the Assisted Living Concepts community licensed to provide the kind of care (or new care) Cornelia needs?
- What is the current vacancy rate at that Assisted Living Concepts community?
- What does Cornelia's contract say about what happens when she runs out of money? Is it the same or different than what she was verbally promised at the time she moved in?
- When this policy change occurred, how much advance warning did Cornelia or her family have?
- Where is Cornelia's financial planner that is keeping an eye on Cornelia's assets so she isn't put into a position where she runs out of money without advance warning?
If you have aging parents, read this story. Learn from it.
Here's a quote from the NPR story
The industry... is serving fewer and fewer low-income residents. A recent federal report noted that while the number of assisted living facilities has grown over the past few years, the number of residents on Medicaid housed in those facilities has been falling. Today, about 10 percent of all assisted living residents use Medicaid.
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