Not everyone's elderly mom or dad is the quintessential Norman Rockwell grandparent, and this can be problematic in an assisted living facility. While your mom or dad may need the help provided at such a place, if they tend to be "difficult," that could get them into trouble and leave you in the awkward position of having to defend them or worse, having to find them a new home. Your best course of action, if you're faced with placing your less-than-agreeable parent in an assisted living apartment, is total honesty and working as closely with staff as you can.
Introducing Your Situation To The Administrator
Your situation is unique and as such, deserves special consideration from the people running the assisted living facility. Meet with them by yourself, explaining the various situations your parent might instigate. Provided your mom or dad isn't likely to resort to any form of violence, most administrators are going to be willing to work with you. However, failure to inform them beforehand will likely leave you in a compromising position later, when the truth is discovered.
General Conditions For Eviction
After your elderly parent has been accepted to a facility, they'll be expected to adhere to a certain behavioral and ethical code. Go over the rules with them carefully, asking them to restrain their traditional temperament and be more cooperative. The administrative staff may make themselves more readily available to your mom or dad initially, to ensure a smooth and uneventful transition to the facility. Although an assisted living facility can evict a resident, it is only within a certain set of criteria your family will be aware of ahead of time:
- Violence toward staff, residents, or visitors.
- Belligerent conduct, such as yelling obscenities, insulting people, or otherwise being frequently disruptive.
- Disrespecting the privacy of other residents, going into their rooms (without permission), or going through their belongings.
- Exhibiting serious symptoms of dementia, which most likely requires a more intensive care environment.
- Any form of sexual harassment, extended toward staff, residents, or their company.
- Requiring more physical care than the assisted living staff has agreed to accommodate.
- Repeatedly disobeying rules.
Although there are protective procedures in place to ensure your mom or dad isn't booted out on the street in the middle of the night, any assisted living facility has a right to enforce their rules and regulations. In the best interest of everyone, including other residents, bad behavior can't be tolerated.
How You Can Positively Intervene
In addition to making sure your parent is aware of the rules, you need to be quick to step in if any type of dispute arises. While most disagreements can be easily handled by staff, if your mom or dad is more likely than others to take arguments to an intolerable level, you must maintain regular contact with both your parent and staff. Be available to the facility at all times and be willing to intervene, if your parent tends to listen to you. When you visit, say hello to everyone, going out of your way to appear friendly and accessible.
If necessary, develop a plan with the facility administrator to respond to possible incidents, to demonstrate your willingness to participate in the resolution process. Although all of this may be a burden on you, it's more favorable to your mom or dad being asked to leave.
What To Do About An Eviction Notice
When all else fails, the facility could choose to send an eviction notice. While you and your parent may have the right to appeal, in all likelihood, if the resident has repeatedly disregarded the rules and regulations, you're going to have to move your mom or dad somewhere else. This is obviously a situation everyone would rather avoid (administrators don't like kicking people out either); however, if it does happen, you have to help your parent take a good long look at their behavior and the consequences of it. Perhaps a joint meeting with your mom or dad's physician and some sort of counselor could help curb the disruptive behavior that's taking such a severe toll on everyone.
Be realistic about the tendencies of your elderly mom or dad as life presents them with the necessity of new living arrangements. Their actions will speak louder than your words, and being completely transparent with assisted living facility staff could help you avert a disaster. Work together, stay on top of complaints and do your best as a diplomat. Hopefully, your mom or dad will see the value of the services they're provided and curb the off-putting behavior. Who knows, they might even make a few friends in their new environment, including with the staff members working so hard to help them adjust.
For more information, contact your local assisted elderly living center.