My parents are in IL and need AL. The SL community wants to put my mom in the healthcare center, splitting them up. Won't let us move them or 4 months and won't give back their money. I found a place for them, but they can't hold the apt for 4 months. Do we have any recourse??

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I'm assuming your parent's are in a SLC and did a buy-in?? If that is the case you need to go over the SLC agreement to see what the covenant's are and what the health care coverage is. My aunt was in a SLC with an over 100K buy-in plus the monthly fee and it was a Type B contact for health care. If she stayed within their system (the SLC had the full continum of care from IL,AL, LTC or moved to another facility within the system - which was the locked down Alz unit) then all her "shares" were OK. But if she left, the buy-in was 100% forefited, 100% nonreturnable. The agreement was pretty clear about this. However I will say it often is just so hard for seniors to be realistic their $$ & abilities and for the SLC to be blunt about costs and what happens when the residents can't be "active" and need to start paying for their health care.

If you just put them in, most states have a 90 day "lemon" law for consumer affairs. So you may have some recourse this way. Contact your states Attorney General's office Consumer Affairs division. If they have been in IL @ the SLC for a long time, then it's different. You may be SOL to get any $$ back. You need to see an attorney on this. Sometimes the SLC will refund once they find another
"buyer" for your parent's "IL home", less the expenses to paint, clean, etc. You could try to see if maybe that could work and you get the place as nice as possible to "sell" it.

If they did a big chunk of $$ to go to the SL, you might be best served financially to stay within their system especially if they are getting good health care.

I know you want to keep them together. But maybe mom's needs are just so different from dad's that it really needs to be this way. Have you had a talk with social services regarding all this? If this is a skilled caregiver issue - by that I mean your mom needs medication or procedures done that require skilled nursing and there is not that level of nursing in the regular AL so that is why she needs to be in a level above your dad's AL - then you might be able to private pay for a LVN to do whatever is needed for mom's care. This will be frightfully expensive but could be a way to keep them together.

If you can try to get a real idea of what their needs are so that you can make sure that the next place you move them too, if you move them, can do the level of care that they need. You just don't want to move them and them 6 mos later go through this again. You don't want to get the 30 day notice and then have to be in a panic rush to find another place. Good luck.
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Thank you, Carol.
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Please contact your local ombudsman. You can find this person on your state website (try "aging" in the search box), or go to and type in the appropriate Zip code. Your ombudsman is trained to help with transitions, and also seeing to it that you are treated fairly. If he or she can't help you directly, you will still get information on how to proceed.
Good luck and please check back,
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