When signing any legal contract, it is vital to understand all of the details. This includes entering into an assisted living contract for your loved one.
Moving mom or dad into an adult residence of any kind is emotional. It can be both confusing and daunting, especially when it comes time to sign a legal agreement. But knowing precisely what to look for, what to ask, and how to understand terms can help ease your mind. Seek out an additional set of eyes to ensure that you fully comprehend what you are signing. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Consulting with an attorney can help alleviate a lot of the stress and help prevent missed details or questions. This process may be as simple as asking a lawyer to read over the contract with you.
- Having family members read over the agreement to help understand all of the details of what to expect can also be beneficial. Involving the family also keeps everyone on the same page regarding your loved one’s care.
Assisted Living Contract Specifics
There are specific areas of the assisted living contract you will want to focus on. These include the type of contract, mandatory arbitration, terms of discharge, type of community, level of care, and financial agreement.
Type of Contract: Most typical assisted living contracts fall under one of these categories: Extensive, Modified, or Fee-For-Service. In Extensive contracts, the resident pays a predetermined fee no matter the level of care, even if that level of care changes during their stay. This type of arrangement may require a more substantial initial entrance fee. Modified contracts typically offer a lower entrance fee, and residents pay for needed services as needed. These contracts may have varying fees month-to-month based on necessary care. Fee for Service contracts have the lowest entrance fee, but the resident is charged full market price for any increased level of care needed during their stay.
Mandatory Arbitration: Mandatory arbitration clauses state that any disagreements between the assisted living facility and resident shall be settled by a third party – and not in court. If there is an arbitration clause in your contract, understand whether or not it is negotiable. If it is negotiable, you may be able to strike it out of the contract.
Terms of Discharge: The contract should always include details of discharge, including if an involuntary discharge, or eviction, should happen. Always know the details of how much notice is required, as well as any possible grounds for eviction. These reasons may include failure to pay, if the resident poses a health risk to others, or if the facility can no longer provide the care the resident needs.
Financial Responsibilities: Understand all of the costs involved and what type of care/amenities are provided for that fee. Be sure to discuss any cost-of-living increases, if fees are negotiable, at what point price increases will occur, and how much notice will be given before the price increase occurs. It’s essential to obtain all financial details n writing.
Finally, you should understand the type of facility your loved one is entering. Adult residences can vary from independent to assisted living, and may also specialize in memory care. The best choice of a facility should be determined by the patient (if possible), their physician, and their loved ones. The staff at these residences will also assist in assessing the right fit for each individual.
A Banyan Residence provides quality assisted living and memory care in the Venice, Florida region.