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GWPotter: Facility #1 is setup where you can buy a condo unit on the property or rent an apartment. At a point in time you can move into Assisted Living. That transition, unless you are renting in the Retirement community may take a bit of time. At this point is where issues developed. My wife and I handled affairs for a person who had a stroke at age 70. About age 74 she entered the Assisted Living section. That transition went well. After about 18 months the management basically said she had to leave Assisted Living and offered a bed in the Skilled Nursing section. It was the view of the patient, the patient's physician and ourselves the transition to Skilled Nursing was not needed. At that point we made application for another Assisted Living facility and our friend moved there where she lived for over 10 years.

One big question in my mind is dispute resolution. I wouldn't like to turn all decisions over to the owners. The ones we are considering allow one to move to assisted living and back to independent living. For instance, a serious surgery might require assistance for a period, but one would return to his independent living status when healed. The second facility you describe sounds like the one we have seen. In the best of all worlds, one could move from independent living to assisted living and back as often as required. Maybe the same for nursing care.

Another concern is governance. I would like the residents to have some voice in how the place is run, setting rules and regulations, etc. not unlike a conventional condominium. It does look like the owners/developers have all the power.

One unit relatively near us changed hands in the past few years. I plan to go there for an interview, and I will ask why and what happened. The new owners are Brookdale, a rather large group, more than 1100 communities (to use their word.)

Thanks for your input. Useful.

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