It Can Happen: Seniors Getting Kicked Out of Assisted Living

getting kicked out of assisted living

Terrible, but true: seniors can get kicked out of assisted living

It’s awful, but defenseless older adults are actually getting kicked out of assisted living facilities. It’s called involuntary discharge and basically means they could be evicted with only 30 days written notice.

As a family caregiver, it’s important to understand why this could happen and how you to protect your senior from a terrible situation.



Regulations around assisted living discharge

Each state has regulations that protect assisted living residents from being kicked out for unlawful reasons. The regulations and notice period may vary by state, but in general, there are only a handful of reasons that allow a facility to involuntarily discharge a resident.

This includes:

  • Not paying the bill.
  • Needing more health care or personal assistance than the facility is licensed to provide.
  • Endangering the health or safety of other people.
  • Breaking a rule in the resident contract (aka admission agreement).
  • Closing of the facility (going out of business).


Facts you need to know about being evicted from assisted living

If your senior has been told to leave, these basics help you make sure the facility isn’t trying to retaliate against complaints or get away with something illegal.

  • Facilities have to provide written notice to the resident and (if known) to a family member or legal representative.
  • Facilities have to document the reasons they are discharging the resident.
  • In most situations, written notice has to be given at least 30 days before the discharge date.
  • Facilities can’t discharge residents who have submitted a timely application for Medicaid and are waiting to hear about their eligibility.
  • Residents have the right to appeal the discharge decision with the state.

Note: Regulations may vary by state


Where to get help with an assisted living discharge

If your older adult has gotten an involuntary discharge notice, it can always be appealed. Some facilities even have an internal appeals process.

If an internal appeal process doesn’t exist or isn’t helpful, you can file an appeal with the state. This could be a confusing process, so you might want to involve the local ombudsman. They work independently to help assisted living residents and makes sure problems with facilities get resolved.

It could also help to get a lawyer involved. They can make sure the facility isn’t trying to get around the law. It’s great if your senior has an elder law attorney, but if they can’t afford to hire a lawyer, contact the local Legal Aid organization.


Bottom line

Sometimes, a facility is justified in telling a resident that they must leave. This usually happens when someone’s health or safety is at stake.

But in other cases, the facility may be trying to kick a resident out for an unlawful reason. To protect your older adult, understand the rules, know that you can appeal the decision, and get additional help if needed.


Next Step  Learn more about how an ombudsman can help


Recommended for you:
Nursing Home Complaints? The Ombudsman Is on Your Side
How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help You
Senior Housing Experts Help Seniors Find the Perfect Place to Live


By DailyCaring Editorial Team


  • Reply July 26, 2018

    Cynthia Von Tempsky

    My 83 year old parent live in […] at […]. […] has given them a 3 day eviction notice for an attempting to commit suicide. My parents have never been suicidal. And now with a 3 day eviction notice, well, who knows. I just need to know if 3 day eviction is legal. Does anyone know about this? Help please.

    [Note: Redacted for privacy]

  • Reply November 1, 2017


    A nursing home in Nevada threatened to “kick out” my friend Kelly’s grandfather after he’d become lewd and inappropriate with staff (due to dementia). Kelly was only 19 at the time, living in college dorms in another state – and there was no other family to rely on. She told the nursing home that they could not just kick him onto the street, and when Kelly refused to come pick him up, the home actually called the police and attempted to have the old man arrested!!

    After that failed (because police refused to arrest him) they tried to force Kelly into signing Power of Attorney forms – which would have made her the responsible deciding party for his health care. Thankfully, she refused, and the nursing home was forced to sort it out by contacting the grandpa’s doctor / hospital. They kept him hospitalized and put him on new meds – but the problem still occurs once in a while.

    So in our state, it looks like the only way the nursing home remains responsible for taking care of a difficult patient is if the family is out of contact. The doctors and a hospital social worker largely had to take on this issue, and the nursing home was far more receptive and honest with them than they were with Kelly. She was lied to countless times because she didn’t know the ins-and-outs of specific laws, but when the social worker was in charge, things were smoothed over and he was allowed to stay. Basically, don’t sign power of attorney paperwork unless you are 100% able to have the person who needs expert care dumped in your lap!

    • Reply November 1, 2017


      That was a terrible situation for your friend Kelly to be in. And terrible for her grandfather as well. It’s good that the situation was resolved successfully in the end. Every situation is different and laws are different in each state, so it’s best to learn as much as possible and get professional advice before making big decisions. It could also be a good idea to get help from an insider when the situation is complex. Like in your friend’s situation. They often know how to work within the system to get things done more effectively.

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