A recent story out of Virginia recently received a great deal of national attention. An 83-year-old grandmother of five and great grandmother of five received a “Notice of Lease Violation” from the management office of her assisted living facility.
What was the infraction?
It appears that Ms. Elsie Cruey had taken too many cookies from a community event. Ms. Cruery had previously run afoul of the community house rules when she took a partial gallon of milk after breakfast. She had hoped to combine the milk with the cookies she took as a late night snack.
Late night milk and cookies snack
Ms. Cruery’s woes did not end with the violation notice. Three months later, she was served with a “Notice of Lease Termination.” She was given one month to get out of her one-bedroom apartment or face an eviction action in court. This time, Ms. Cruery was accused of failing to leave a private meeting after she was instructed to go. Ms. Cruery maintains that she did not know that the meeting was private. She did not understand why she couldn’t stay if the meeting if it was run by a County representative speaking to residents about a rental program for low to moderate income households. Ms. Cruery went public with her story and after a public outcry, was able to remain in her unit in the assisted living facility.
Ms. Cruery’s plight is not uncommon in the world of assisted living facilities. It is possible to be evicted from a community of assisted living facility if you do not follow the house or community rules. Even if you pay your rent monthly, you can be evicted if you violate the community’s rules. Adjusting to an assisted living facility is difficult. Downsizing from your home, especially if you lost your spouse or partner, is difficult. Like any new situation, it may take you some time to adjust to living with rules. Some house of community rules may appear juvenile or draconian. The house rules however exist for a reason, to make the overall community experience comfortable to everyone.
When selecting an assisted living facility, ask to see the house rules. Really read them and determine if you will be able to abide by the community’s rules. If you know you love cookies, especially as in late night snack, ask about food and access to snacks after mealtimes. Moving is hard work. After settling into a new community or facility and making new friends, it will be hard to adjust to a new environment. Take some time to ask questions of other community members about activities you enjoy and whether they are acceptable where you are considering living.