Can a memory care facility deny residency for a patient with a felony?


My husband has lewy body dementia and I found a place for him, but they do a background check and may deny him she said. His felony was for selling what was representing to be a controlled substance, not murder or sex offender, and since then (1986 he got out) his record is clean, not even a speeding ticket. Has anyone else gone through this? Praying he gets in for my own health and sanity as I am the only caregiver 24//7 with no help in sight. Please advise, Thanks!

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Thanks to all for your responses. Found out today he was denied admission. Going to look into a lawyer to get it expunged. Feeling depressed
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to LoriJo
PrairieLake Aug 21, 2018
I am so sorry you are going through this. Look around a little more. I worked in 20+ nursing homes, and there is a place for him somewhere.
You may need to talk to the social workers before anyone else.
Also there may be other reasons he was denied.
My heart is with you.
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Yes, facilities DO perform a background check prior to admission. If things like prior felony convictions are not disclosed, that CAN be a reason to deny an application.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to dragonflower

Long-term Care Facilities can discriminant at the door. They can refuse admission for any reason and they do not have to tell you why they are refusing to admit.

The reason behind this rule is that facilities need to be able to turn away individuals when they believe they cannot meet their needs. Also, if a facilities admit a resident they can legally discharge them without a reason for the first 30-days. After the 30-days then the Federal discharge rules apply.

From what you have shared it sounds like your loved one should not be denied due to his past. I would suggest that if the admission person tells you that they will not accept him you request to speak with the Director of Nursing (DoN) or the administrator.
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Reply to cjwilson

There may be a different set of standards that apply if you belong to a minority racial/ethnic group. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based upon race / ethnicity. Those who have felony records are more likely to be minorities (they are more likely to be arrested and more likely to be convicted for the same actions that whites do). Apartment complexes are being sued for keeping out (as a policy) people with records. Since assisted living facilities are housing facilities, I don't know why the same rules wouldn't apply.
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Reply to annimosisty

AL will deny for “suicidal ideation”...basically the nurse said if they are a “danger to themselves or anyone else” they are not a candidate for AL. Doesn’t sound like a felony for selling a controlled substance qualifies him as posing a danger to anyone...
Although my grandfather-in-law was deemed “dangerous to others” because he was a friendly guy who wandered into other peoples rooms to chit-chat. He didn’t get kicked out, but he was heavily medicated after that. I guess it all depends on how they handle it, and what they deem “dangerous”...
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Reply to Dadsakid

I'm an attorney and a former Public Defender in Miami Dade County. I agree with one of the former posts that indicated that there is no requirement that a facility accept anyone with a record. Discrimination in terms of sex, age, race, religion, etc. is prohibited. The ADA may not protect him either because the American with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on a disability. Having a criminal record is not discriminatory. It doesn't fall into one of those protected categories.

I would suggest to just argue common sense to the facility. That this offense took place a long time ago and that he doesn't pose any type of danger to the facility or it's people.

Best of luck,
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Reply to nbabinsky
busymom Aug 21, 2018
It was very kind of you to take the time to answer this question. For those of us who take time to read many of these questions, and attempt to help those we can, having more professionals available on this site is extremely beneficial for all. Thank you for responding to LoriJo's concerns.
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I'm sure they have the right to turn people away for a felony or some felony's but I would hope they look at what the offense was and when. This doesn't sound like an offense that poses any possible threat to anyone, I mean there are all kinds of people out there with felony pot convictions for something that is legal now in many places. If this is truly a place you want to put your LO (I mean since you have to put him somewhere) I would hope they take all the facts into consideration. Since it was the woman who showed you around she could have just been someone lower on the totem pole or she could be the head of "admissions" I guess but I'm going to go with the thought that she doesn't have anything to do with the actual approval process and knows that having a felony is something that people can be turned away for so she let you know that, she's right and it's only fair to be upfront but what she doesn't know enough about is what they consider rejection worthy and what they overlook.

I agree someone who has served their time has served their time and particularly when it's been 30+ years with no offenses since serving that time they have paid for their transgressions. On the other hand if their is a serial rapist or someone who was convicted of murder and gun trafficking or something I am happy the facility I have my mom in for instance might be inclined to turn him away. That is not to say that someone can't turn their life around though so the offense, how long they have been out and what they have done since makes sense to consider. I mention rape and murder though because we know people with dementia/Alshimers can loose self control and the ability to reason as well as fall back to old behaviors so considering some loose inhibition without being felons these concerns could be valid in the case of someone convicted for violent crimes.
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Reply to Lymie61

My condolences that you are going through this and this diagnosis. I doubt that VERY seriously any prior record especially something that small will affect his admission. don't worry about that. and she really should not have mentioned they may deny him admission which is putting you in further distress. that was really rude of them.
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Reply to cetude

I would contact the ADA Americans with Disabilities Act. They deal with discriminatory acts against the elderly and disabled. They can guide you. Best of Luck.
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Reply to commutergirl
nbabinsky Aug 22, 2018
Respectfully, I don't think this falls under the category of discrimination under the ADA or other type of prohibited discrimination based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, or national origin. These are called, "protected classes" facility can deny service to somebody somebody for having a criminal record. It's not a protected class.
Who is she? - as in "may deny him she said."

For me, the point is that the time was served and the conviction was from well over thirty years ago; and it's hard to see its relevance to the current situation. Keep your cool and make sure you're communicating closely and constructively with the decision makers; but on an optimistic note it wouldn't make commercial sense to turn away business on these highly technical grounds, would it?

I suppose, just musing, there could be concerns about access to prescribed medications...

... But then again, if those concerns are real then the facility needs to tighten up its medication storage and handling protocol.

Do you have a professional advisor (social worker, care planner, e.g.) helping you?
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Reply to Countrymouse