Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Social Services
State Board of Social Services
Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities [22 VAC 40 ‑ 73]
Action Update Standards to Add Appeal Process for Discharges
Stage Fast-Track
Comment Period Ended on 9/27/2023
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
9/27/23  8:26 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

ALFs are Abusing Residents w/ Threat of Involuntary Discharge. FAST TRACK NEEDED

ALFs have the unchecked and unregulated ability to evict residents on short notice, and have used this to unnecessarily and unfairly discharge residents for items such as raising issues about improper care, asking questions, or to sell the resident’s room to a higher bidder.

The elderly and infirm, who are often paying everything they have worked for their entire lives to these private pay facilities, currently have no rights, protections, or reasonable due process in this area.

The implementation of an Appeals Process and protections against this form of elder abuse from ALFs is long overdue.

Any ALF company that can’t work with these reasonable protections for the elderly and infirm can leave the state. There will be a more humane company to take their place.

ALFs use the ability to discharge residents at will, without protection/regulation, as a means to intimidate residents and families, and this is well documented. ALFs scare and threaten families with this unregulated ability to discharge residents at their whim. The message is that the elderly have no voice and no rights. This also creates an atmosphere where residents are afraid to organize a residents council even though they have the explicit right to do so, to share feedback about their community; and there is a general environment where residents are afraid to voice fair and reasonable issues, or concerns. Or basic needs. It is a grave imbalance that is being abused, and is abusive to ALF residents.

Elderly and impaired Virginians deserve much better than that. Even more so at the prices these profit-driven companies charge. They are more concerned with Executive and Manager bonuses. They charge as much as possible, and pay their staff as little as possible. The margins are significant. Profit as the priority, far exceeds a focus on care.

The companies that are most vocally against this, and protesting as a group — those companies should raise the most eyebrows among DSS inspectors, state ombudsmen, and the media / journalists.

Virginians need an appeals process yesterday, and so we as an organization of Virginia ALF families and residents, support fast tracking the appeals process, for the law that was passed a year and 1/2 ago.

Also, there should be something in the regulation that puts the onus of documenting any issues with the resident in writing, and the resident or their representative needs to confirm receipt.  

In the regulation, residents should be granted a remedy period to correct or react to any written communications from the ALF.

We have seen too often a facility discharging a resident with absolutely no documentation of any issues, and they do not put anything in writing to the resident or family. That must change.

Too often the ALF is serving discharges for untoward and unethical reasons, out of left field to the resident or family, and the ALF has absolutely no documentation for any communication about it. They must be required to provide notices in writing to prevent abuse.

Please fast track these long overdue rights and access to due process for the voters of Virginia.

CommentID: 220412