Foreclosure in Elder Care Homes

Assisted living facilities and nursing homes haven’t been exempt from the financial crisis. In the troubled Bay Area (which has been hit hard by the real estate crisis), 100 senior living homes were under foreclosure in the last six months, as researched and reported by The New York Times.

Foreclosure of a single-family home results in a displaced family. Foreclosure of an elder-care facility can result in hundreds of displaced residents who need help carrying out activities of daily living. The worst part of the scenario is that distressed facilities aren’t under any obligation under California law to notify residents in advance of financial distress or even pending foreclosure — meaning residents must be transferred at the last minute, without warning.

Do you have a plan B for your loved one?

Residents living in the foreclosed facilities were transferred to other facilities or were able to stay with loved ones. Being limited to facilities with open beds, many patients likely didn’t get a choice — and, sudden changes in routine and environment can be stressful on the elderly, especially those with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. But this raises an important question, especially if your loved one lives in a different city or state. Do you have a plan B? It’s not often that you’ll find yourself living in a foreclosed assisted living facility, but another crisis could occur that would require a sudden transfer.

Families should collectively decide on alternate plans in case of a sudden emergency, change in care needs, or other situation that would cause you to suddenly want to move your loved one. Appoint a fall-back family member or friend who could take your loved one in at a moment’s notice, and keep a short list of other facilities you would approve of should a transfer become necessary.

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