An admission agreement for residential care is a legal contract and should be thoroughly read before signing. Under California law admission agreements must meet certain requirements. If there are any questions about the contract make sure to ask either an attorney, Community Care Licensing or the Sonoma County Ombudsman Program prior to signing.
The following information will be helpful in understanding the admission agreement contract for a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly or Assisted Living Facility.
• An admission agreement contract includes all documents that a resident or responsible person must sign at the time of, or as a condition of, admission.
LANGUAGE AND FORMAT
• The admission agreement must be written in clear, coherent and unambiguous language, using words with common and every day meaning. It must also be appropriately divided with each section suitably captioned. The agreement must also be printed in black ink, 12-point type size on plain white paper using only one side of the paper.
POSTING, COPIES, RETENTION
• A complete copy of a blank admission agreement must be made available to the public. There may be a charge for the cost of copying and mailing.
• A Residential Care Facility for the Elderly must provide a copy of the completed contract to the resident and responsible person, or conservator.
• A list of other services and charges available through the facility must be posted and accessible to both the public and the residents.
• There may be a single preadmission fee. It must be clearly stated whether or not the fee is refundable and there also must be a written statement describing what the fee is used for.
THEFT AND LOSS
• California Health and Safety Code, Section 1569.153 requires every residential care/assisted living facility for the elderly to have a Theft and Loss Program to safeguard its residents’ person property. All personal property must be inventoried, marked and kept secure unless the resident refuses. The facility must keep a record of stolen or lost property that has a value over $25. If the lost or stolen property value is over $100 the facility must also make a report to local law enforcement
• A facility is required under law to give a 30-day eviction notice in writing and list the reasons for eviction in writing. A three-day notice may only be given in very specific circumstances – when the resident’s continued stay is a threat to their health and/or a threat to the safety of the other residents in the facility.
THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF QUESTIONS THAT SHOULD BE ASKED WHEN YOU ARE REVIEWING AN ADMISSION AGREEMENT AND/OR SPEAKING WITH THE MANAGER:
• What initial payments are required? Is any of it refundable?
• What is the fee?
• What services are provided for that fee?
• What are the additional charges and for what services/products? For example, meals in the bedroom when on is ill? Assistance with showering?
• How often and why can fees be changed?
• If the resident is away from the facility for an extended period of time (in the hospital or temporarily in a nursing home) what fees continue to apply?
• What happens if funds run out? Is there any financial assistance?
• What is the refund policy in cases of transfers to an acute care hospital, nursing home or returning home, discharges, changes in ownership or closing?
MEETING INDIVIDUAL NEEDS
• What behaviors, conditions, or other circumstances may result in termination of services?
• What kind of assessment is done to determine care and needs of a resident? What are the qualifications of the person conducting the assessment? How often is an assessment done?
• Can the facility schedule bathing and dressing to accommodate the preferences of a resident? Can changes be made?
• How often is the room cleaned? Does the contract specify? Is there an additional fee for extra cleaning?
• Who decides to call 911? Are there written policies about how the decision is made?