As we’ve written about in earlier Cambridge Realty Capital blogs, CCRCs are continuing care retirement communities, communities that offer a range of levels of care for aging seniors designed to accommodate them from the assisted living stage through the nursing facility stage.  It’s a great concept that allows seniors to choose one community to meet their ongoing and increasing care needs.  Unfortunately, lately a few CCRCs have made headlines for the wrong reasons.  Learn from their mistakes so your facility can avoid making similar ones.

Bad News in a CCRC

Recently, the New York Times reported that Ann Clinton, a resident of Redstone Village, a continuing care retirement community, is not allowed to play BINGO despite paying a deposit exceeding $350,000 and about $4,600 per month for her and her husband to reside there.

Ms. Clinton and her husband originally moved into one of the Village’s independent living apartments.  Her husband’s condition worsened and he moved through the different levels of Redstone’s care, eventually passing away in its nursing care unit.  It was an ideal example of how CCRCs are designed to work.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Clinton’s experience hasn’t been as smooth.  Throughout her husband’s downfall, she played BINGO with fellow facility members as a reprieve from her suffering over the illness and eventual loss of her husband.  After her husband’s death, Mrs. Clinton, who also suffers from dementia, had back surgery.  Following her surgery, she was moved to Redstone’s nursing home wing at least until she recovers.

Though it is someway understandable to segregate population types, this simply is not good press for Redstone Village.  Consistent with what we’ve said in earlier blogs, it is important for facilities to find a balance between freedom and safety of their patients/residents.  Not surprisingly, following surgery, Mrs. Clinton wanted to return to her BINGO games.

Unfortunately, Redstone refused to allow her to do so despite Mrs. Clinton being able to readily access the games by transporting herself via the motorized scooter that she uses to get around.  At first, Redstone required that Mrs. Clinton have a “sponsor,” someone from the independent living facility, invite her to the games.  Mrs. Clinton, who had many friends in the independent unit, readily found a sponsor and continued to play BINGO.  But Redstone later decided that was insufficient and prohibited Mrs. Clinton from attending the games at all.  It drew the attention of Mrs. Clinton’s friends, many of whom boycotted at least one game on her account, as well as the New York Times.

The New York Times article also reports that prior to the BINGO issues, the Clintons grew disenchanted with the facility when it wouldn’t allow Mr. Clinton, who had been moved to assisted living, to eat with his wife, Mrs. Clinton in one of the facility’s independent living dining halls.

As noted above, of course, there are legitimate reasons for the facility’s decisions that are rooted in a sincere concern for residents’ safety and well-being.  However, to avoid unhappy residents and unfavorable press, these types of issues should be considered by a facility well in advance of their occurrence and mechanisms should be in place to deal with them – whether involving a more comprehensive disclosure, exceptions for spouses, or other means.

For Financing Questions

Cambridge Realty Capital understands that operating a successful senior living or healthcare facility is a complicated endeavor requiring knowledge of a variety of areas and keeping up to date on industry trends.  Our blog seeks to help you just do that, while Cambridge Realty Capital representatives can help you answer questions about financing as they arise.  Contact us today to discuss your financing needs.

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