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Residency Agreement: Read It, All Of It

When loved ones enters a nursing home, assisted living facility, or “independent living facility” they are often asked to sign forms called “Residency Agreements”.  These are generally long documents that the staff will skim through with you on the day of admission.  DON’T LET THEM DO THAT!  If you or a loved one is about to move into a facility, ask for the document a day or two ahead of time.  Read the document from cover to cover.  Make notes.  Ask questions.  If there is something you don’t understand, call a lawyer.  These agreements often contain mandatory arbitration clauses, limitations on the ability to bring a lawsuit should your loved one be injured, and other provisions that are written to protect the facility and not the patient.  Be an informed consumer.  Don’t let them rush you through this important document.