Question: Can an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) in Florida transfer my mother to another facility without my approval, her financial and health care Agent. Apparently, Mom, who is 87 years old and has dementia, has been somewhat rowdy recently and apparently because of this behavior / acting out, the Assisted Living Facility has made a unilateral decision (without my input at all) to transfer her to another facility on the other side of town. Can this be done and what is my recourse?
Answer: In Florida, a resident in an assisted living facility has the right to at least 45 days’ notice of relocation or termination of residency unless a physician certifies that the resident requires an emergency relocation to a facility providing a more skilled level of care or the resident engages in a “pattern of conduct that is harmful or offensive to other residents”. So, in your particular case, if the ALF has provided proper notice, they can transfer her for any reason or no reason. If they have not provided proper notice and it is not an emergency transfer as described above, then you may have recourse. I suggest that you contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program through the Department of Elder Affairs for more specific guidance in your mother’s case. They can be reached at 1.888.831.04040 or at http://ombudsman.myflorida.com. There is no charge for these services.
Sheri Samotin, President
LifeBridge Solutions, LLC
Naples, Florida 34108