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Can You Leave Assisted Living: Ultimate Guide [2023 Update]

Planning Your Temporary Departure: Steps to Take Before Leaving Assisted Living

Communicate with the Assisted Living Facility

Before making any arrangements, it is crucial to inform the staff and management of your assisted living facility about your temporary departure. This will allow them to assist you in making the necessary arrangements and ensure that your absence is properly documented. Discuss the duration of your departure, any specific needs or concerns you may have, and any necessary paperwork that needs to be completed.

Arrange for Temporary Accommodations

If you will be away for an extended period, it is important to arrange for temporary accommodations during your absence. Consider staying with family or friends, booking a short-term rental, or exploring options such as extended stay hotels or vacation rentals. Ensure that the temporary accommodations meet your specific needs and are accessible for any mobility or medical requirements you may have.

Coordinate Medical Care

If you require ongoing medical care or assistance, it is essential to coordinate with your healthcare providers before leaving assisted living. Schedule appointments, arrange for medication refills, and ensure that any necessary medical equipment or supplies will be available during your absence. If you will be receiving medical treatment at a different location, make sure to transfer your medical records and inform your healthcare team about your temporary departure.

Secure Your Personal Belongings

Before leaving assisted living, take the time to secure your personal belongings. Ensure that valuable items are safely stored or entrusted to a family member or friend. Label any necessary items, such as assistive devices or personal care products, to ensure they are easily identifiable and accessible upon your return. It may also be helpful to create a checklist of items to pack and bring with you during your temporary departure.

Set Up Communication Channels

Maintaining communication with your assisted living facility, healthcare providers, and loved ones is crucial during your temporary departure. Set up reliable communication channels, such as a dedicated phone line, email, or video conferencing platforms, to stay connected. Share your contact information with the necessary parties and establish a communication plan to ensure that you can easily reach out for assistance or updates.

Review Financial and Legal Matters

Before leaving assisted living, review your financial and legal matters to ensure everything is in order. Pay any outstanding bills, set up automatic payments if necessary, and inform your financial institutions about your temporary departure. Consider designating a trusted individual to handle any financial or legal matters on your behalf, such as managing your mail or paying bills. It may also be beneficial to review your insurance coverage to ensure you have adequate protection during your absence.

Prepare for Your Return

Lastly, it is important to prepare for your return to assisted living. Before leaving, discuss with the facility staff any specific arrangements or accommodations that need to be made upon your return. Ensure that your temporary accommodations are aware of your departure date and make arrangements for transportation back to the assisted living facility. Take the time to pack any necessary items or personal belongings you will need upon your return.

By following these steps and taking the time to plan your temporary departure from assisted living, you can ensure a smooth transition and maintain your well-being during your absence. Remember to communicate openly with the facility staff, coordinate medical care, secure your personal belongings, set up communication channels, review financial and legal matters, and prepare for your return. With proper planning, you can enjoy your temporary departure knowing that everything is taken care of.

Communicating with the Facility: Notifying Staff and Discussing Your Departure

  1. Schedule a meeting: Request a meeting with the facility’s management or administration to discuss your decision to leave. This meeting will provide an opportunity to explain your reasons for leaving and address any concerns or questions they may have.

  2. Prepare your reasons: Before the meeting, take some time to reflect on your decision and identify the reasons behind it. Whether it’s due to financial constraints, health improvements, or a desire for a different living environment, be prepared to articulate your reasons clearly and concisely.

  3. Be respectful and honest: When discussing your departure, it is crucial to maintain a respectful and honest tone. Express your gratitude for the care and support you have received during your time at the facility. Avoid placing blame or criticizing the facility, as this may strain the relationship and make the process more challenging.

  4. Provide notice: Depending on the terms of your agreement with the facility, you may be required to provide a specific notice period before leaving. Check your contract or agreement to determine the notice period and ensure you comply with it. Giving sufficient notice allows the facility to make necessary arrangements and ensures a smooth transition for both parties.

  5. Discuss any outstanding matters: During the meeting, address any outstanding matters, such as outstanding bills or personal belongings that need to be collected. Ensure that all financial obligations are settled before your departure to avoid any complications or misunderstandings.

  6. Request documentation: Ask the facility to provide you with documentation confirming your departure. This documentation may include a termination of contract or a letter stating the end of your residency. Having these documents can be helpful for future reference or if any disputes arise.

  7. Follow up in writing: After the meeting, it is advisable to send a follow-up email or letter to the facility, summarizing the key points discussed during the meeting. This serves as a written record of your communication and ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding your departure.

Arranging for Temporary Care: Exploring Options for Care During Your Absence

1. Communicate with your assisted living facility

The first step in arranging for temporary care is to communicate with your assisted living facility. Inform them about your plans and discuss the duration of your absence. They may have specific policies and procedures in place for temporary leaves, so it’s important to understand their requirements.

2. Explore respite care services

Respite care services can provide temporary care for individuals who need assistance with daily activities. These services are designed to give caregivers a break while ensuring that the individual’s needs are met. Research local respite care providers and inquire about their availability and services. They may offer short-term stays or in-home care options depending on your needs.

3. Consider staying with family or friends

If you have family or friends who are willing and able to provide care during your absence, staying with them can be a viable option. Discuss your plans with them and ensure that they are comfortable and capable of meeting your needs. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the level of care they can provide and any additional support you may require.

4. Hire a private caregiver

Another option to consider is hiring a private caregiver to provide care during your absence. This can be a more personalized and flexible option, as you can tailor the care to your specific needs. Research reputable caregiver agencies or individuals in your area and conduct thorough interviews and background checks before making a decision.

5. Utilize community resources

Many communities offer resources and programs that can provide temporary care for individuals in need. These may include adult day care centers, senior centers, or community organizations that offer respite care services. Research local resources and inquire about their availability and eligibility requirements.

6. Plan ahead and make necessary arrangements

Once you have explored your options and decided on the best course of action, it’s important to plan ahead and make the necessary arrangements. Notify your assisted living facility or caregiver of your plans and provide them with any relevant information or instructions. Ensure that all necessary paperwork, medications, and personal belongings are organized and ready for your absence.

Leaving assisted living, even temporarily, can be a complex process. By communicating with your facility, exploring respite care services, considering staying with family or friends, hiring a private caregiver, utilizing community resources, and planning ahead, you can ensure that you have the right care in place during your absence. Remember to consult with professionals and make informed decisions based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Preparing Your Living Space: Organizing and Securing Your Belongings

  1. Assess your belongings: Start by taking stock of all your possessions. Determine what items you want to keep, what you can donate or sell, and what needs to be discarded. This will help you declutter and simplify the moving process.

  2. Create a plan: Develop a plan for organizing your belongings. Consider categorizing items by room or type to make packing and unpacking easier. Label boxes clearly to ensure everything ends up in the right place.

  3. Pack strategically: When packing your belongings, be mindful of their fragility and weight. Use appropriate packing materials, such as bubble wrap or packing paper, to protect delicate items. Place heavier items at the bottom of boxes and lighter ones on top to prevent damage.

  4. Secure valuable items: Identify any valuable or sentimental items that require extra protection. Consider using a lockbox or safe to store important documents, jewelry, or other valuable possessions. This will give you peace of mind during the moving process.

  5. Notify relevant parties: Inform your family, friends, and any necessary institutions about your move. Update your address with the post office, banks, insurance companies, and any other relevant organizations. This will ensure that important mail and documents are forwarded to your new address.

  6. Arrange for assistance: If needed, enlist the help of family members, friends, or professional movers to assist you with the physical aspects of the move. Having extra hands can make the process more efficient and less physically demanding.

  7. Consider storage options: If you have items that you don’t immediately need or have limited space in your new living arrangement, consider renting a storage unit. This can provide a temporary solution for storing belongings until you decide what to do with them.

  8. Update your insurance: Review your insurance policies and make any necessary updates to ensure your belongings are adequately protected during the move. Contact your insurance provider to discuss any changes or additional coverage you may need.

Managing Finances: Addressing Billing and Financial Obligations

  1. Review your contract: Start by carefully reviewing the contract you signed with the assisted living facility. Look for any clauses or terms related to early termination or moving out. Understanding your financial obligations and any potential penalties will help you plan accordingly.

  2. Notify the facility: Once you have made the decision to leave assisted living, it is important to notify the facility as soon as possible. This will allow them to start the necessary paperwork and make arrangements for your departure.

  3. Discuss your options: Schedule a meeting with the facility’s management or financial department to discuss your options. They may be able to provide guidance on any financial assistance programs or resources that can help with the transition.

  4. Understand the costs: Before leaving, make sure you have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with your stay at the assisted living facility. This includes monthly fees, additional services, and any outstanding bills. Request a detailed breakdown of all charges to ensure there are no surprises.

  5. Settle outstanding bills: Take the time to settle any outstanding bills or payments before leaving. This will help avoid any potential issues or disputes in the future. Keep copies of all receipts and payment confirmations for your records.

  6. Notify relevant parties: Inform any relevant parties, such as insurance providers or government agencies, about your change in living arrangements. This will ensure a smooth transition and prevent any disruptions in services or benefits.

  7. Update your budget: Leaving assisted living may have an impact on your overall budget. Take the time to reassess your financial situation and make any necessary adjustments. Consider factors such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and healthcare expenses.

  8. Seek professional advice if needed: If you are unsure about how leaving assisted living will affect your finances, consider seeking professional advice. A financial advisor or elder law attorney can provide guidance and help you make informed decisions.

Returning to Assisted Living: Reintegrating into the Facility After Your Departure

Communicate with the Facility Staff

Before leaving the assisted living facility, it is crucial to inform the staff about your temporary departure. This will allow them to make the necessary arrangements and ensure that your room or apartment remains available for your return. By maintaining open lines of communication, you can also address any concerns or questions you may have regarding your departure and subsequent return.

Plan Ahead for Your Return

While you are away, it is essential to plan ahead for your return to the assisted living facility. Coordinate with the staff to determine the date and time of your arrival. This will enable them to prepare your room or apartment, ensuring that it is clean, comfortable, and ready for your return. Additionally, discuss any specific needs or preferences you may have, such as dietary restrictions or medication requirements, to ensure a seamless transition.

Arrange Transportation

Transportation plays a vital role in returning to assisted living. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to arrange for transportation from the hospital or your family’s home back to the facility. Communicate with the facility staff to explore transportation options available to you, such as arranging for a staff member to pick you up or coordinating with a local transportation service. By planning ahead, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey back to the facility.

Reestablish Your Routine

Returning to assisted living after a temporary departure can be an adjustment. It is essential to reestablish your routine as quickly as possible to regain a sense of normalcy. Engage with the facility’s activities and programs, reconnect with fellow residents, and participate in social events. By immersing yourself in the community, you can ease the transition and feel more at home.

Seek Support

Transitioning back to assisted living may come with its challenges. It is crucial to seek support from the facility staff, fellow residents, and even family members. Share your experiences and concerns, and lean on the resources available to you. Assisted living facilities are designed to provide a supportive environment, and by reaching out for assistance, you can navigate any difficulties that may arise.

Stay Positive and Patient

Returning to assisted living after a temporary departure may require some adjustment and patience. It is important to stay positive and maintain a proactive mindset throughout the process. Embrace the opportunities for growth and connection that the facility offers, and remember that the staff is there to support you every step of the way.

Temporary Leave Options for Assisted Living Residents

Option Description
Vacation Assisted living residents can take a vacation and temporarily leave the facility. They can plan a trip to visit family or friends, go on a cruise, or explore a new destination. It is important to inform the facility in advance and make necessary arrangements for care during the absence.
Family Visit Residents can leave the facility to visit their family for a short period. This allows them to spend quality time with loved ones and maintain important connections. It is advisable to discuss the visit with the facility staff and ensure that any necessary care arrangements are made.
Medical Appointments Residents may need to leave the facility for medical appointments, such as doctor visits, therapy sessions, or diagnostic tests. It is essential to inform the facility in advance and coordinate transportation if needed. The facility may also provide assistance in scheduling appointments and arranging transportation.

Permanent Leave Options for Assisted Living Residents

Option Description
Moving Back Home In some cases, residents may decide to leave the assisted living facility permanently and move back home. This could be due to improved health, changes in personal circumstances, or a desire for more independence. It is important to discuss this decision with the facility staff and follow any necessary procedures for discharge.
Transition to Independent Living Some residents may choose to transition from assisted living to independent living communities. These communities offer a higher level of independence while still providing support and services as needed. Residents can enjoy their own living space and access various amenities and activities. It is advisable to research and visit different independent living options to find the best fit.
Nursing Home Placement In certain situations, residents may need a higher level of care and support than what assisted living can provide. Moving to a nursing home may be necessary to ensure their safety and well-being. It is important to consult with healthcare professionals and the facility staff to determine the appropriate level of care and make necessary arrangements.

Process for Temporary Leave from Assisted Living

Step Description
Inform the Facility Notify the assisted living facility about the planned temporary leave. Provide details about the duration, purpose, and any necessary care arrangements during the absence.
Coordinate Care Work with the facility staff to ensure that appropriate care is arranged during the temporary leave. This may involve coordinating medication management, personal care assistance, or transportation services.
Complete Necessary Paperwork Fill out any required forms or documentation related to the temporary leave. This may include consent forms, emergency contact information, or medical release forms.
Communicate with Family Inform family members or designated contacts about the temporary leave and provide them with necessary information, such as the facility’s contact details and emergency procedures.
Follow Facility Guidelines Adhere to any specific guidelines or policies set by the facility regarding temporary leaves. This may include restrictions on the duration of the leave or requirements for notifying the facility in advance.

Process for Permanent Leave from Assisted Living

Step Description
Discuss Decision with Facility Initiate a conversation with the facility staff to express the intention of leaving permanently. They can provide guidance on the necessary steps and procedures for discharge.
Review Contract and Financial Obligations Carefully review the contract signed with the assisted living facility to understand any financial obligations or penalties associated with early termination. Seek clarification from the facility staff if needed.
Arrange for Moving Assistance If moving back home or transitioning to another living arrangement, make necessary arrangements for packing, moving, and unpacking belongings. Consider hiring professional movers or seeking assistance from family and friends.
Notify Healthcare Providers Inform healthcare providers, such as doctors and therapists, about the change in living situation. Provide them with updated contact information and discuss any necessary adjustments to the care plan.
Complete Discharge Process Follow the facility’s discharge procedures, which may include signing necessary paperwork, returning any facility-provided items, and settling any outstanding financial obligations.

Factors to Consider Before Leaving Assisted Living

Factor Description
Health and Care Needs Assess your current health condition and care needs to determine if leaving assisted living is appropriate. Consider consulting with healthcare professionals to ensure that your safety and well-being will be adequately addressed in the new living arrangement.
Support System Evaluate the availability of a support system in the new living arrangement. Consider whether family, friends, or community resources will be accessible to provide assistance and companionship.
Financial Considerations Review your financial situation and determine if the new living arrangement is affordable and sustainable. Consider factors such as rent/mortgage, utilities, healthcare costs, and any additional services or amenities.
Lifestyle Preferences Reflect on your lifestyle preferences and determine if the new living arrangement aligns with your interests, hobbies, and desired level of independence. Consider factors such as location, amenities, social activities, and community engagement opportunities.
Emotional Impact Recognize and address any emotional impact that leaving assisted living may have. It is important to ensure that the decision is made with careful consideration of your emotional well-being and overall happiness.

Resources for Assistance and Guidance

Resource Description
Aging and Disability Resource Centers These centers provide information and assistance to older adults and individuals with disabilities. They can help navigate the process of leaving assisted living and connect individuals with appropriate resources and services.
Senior Living Advisors Senior living advisors are professionals who specialize in helping individuals and families find suitable living arrangements. They can provide guidance, conduct assessments, and offer personalized recommendations based on specific needs and preferences.
Local Support Groups Joining local support groups can provide valuable insights and support from individuals who have gone through similar experiences. These groups can offer emotional support, practical advice, and a sense of community during the transition process.
Legal and Financial Professionals Consulting with legal and financial professionals can provide guidance on matters such as contracts, financial planning, and estate planning. They can help ensure that the necessary legal and financial aspects are addressed when leaving assisted living.
Online Resources Various websites and online platforms offer information, articles, and forums related to leaving assisted living. These resources can provide additional insights, tips, and personal stories to help individuals make informed decisions and navigate the process effectively.

How long do most people live in assisted living?

Most people live in assisted living for an average of 2 to 3 years, although this can vary depending on individual circumstances and health conditions. Assisted living provides a supportive and safe environment for seniors to maintain their independence and receive assistance with daily activities.

Can my mom check herself out of the nursing home?

Yes, your mom has the right to check herself out of a nursing home if she is mentally competent to make decisions about her own care. It is important to communicate with the nursing home staff and follow any necessary procedures to ensure a smooth transition and proper discharge planning.

Can a nursing home kick you out for non-payment in Ohio?

Yes, a nursing home in Ohio can potentially discharge a resident for non-payment. However, there are legal processes and protections in place to ensure that residents are not unfairly evicted. It is important to communicate with the nursing home administration and explore options for financial assistance or payment plans if needed.

How do you qualify for assisted living in Ohio?

To qualify for assisted living in Ohio, individuals typically need to meet certain criteria related to their age, health, and level of care needed. This may involve an assessment by a healthcare professional to determine eligibility. Additionally, financial qualifications may vary depending on the specific assisted living facility and any available assistance programs.

Can You Leave Assisted Living? 10 FAQs Answered

Living in an assisted living facility can provide a supportive and safe environment for individuals who need assistance with daily activities. However, there may be times when you or your loved one may want or need to leave the facility temporarily or permanently. In this article, we will answer 10 frequently asked questions about leaving assisted living.

1. Can I take a vacation while living in an assisted living facility?

Yes, you can take a vacation while living in an assisted living facility. Many facilities allow residents to take temporary leaves of absence, often referred to as "respite stays." It is important to communicate your plans with the facility’s staff in advance to ensure a smooth transition and to understand any specific policies or procedures that may apply.

2. What is the process for temporarily leaving an assisted living facility?

To temporarily leave an assisted living facility, you will typically need to inform the facility’s staff of your plans in advance. They will guide you through the necessary steps, which may include signing temporary leave paperwork, arranging for any necessary care or support during your absence, and ensuring that your room or apartment remains secure.

3. Can I leave an assisted living facility for a day or a few hours?

Yes, you can leave an assisted living facility for a day or a few hours. Many facilities allow residents to come and go as they please, provided they are capable of doing so safely. It is important to inform the facility’s staff of your plans and to follow any guidelines or procedures they may have in place.

4. Can I move back home after living in an assisted living facility?

Yes, in some cases, it is possible to move back home after living in an assisted living facility. This decision should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider, family members, and the facility’s staff. They can help assess your ability to live independently and provide guidance on any necessary support services or modifications that may be needed.

5. What factors should I consider before leaving an assisted living facility permanently?

Before leaving an assisted living facility permanently, it is important to consider several factors. These may include your physical and mental health needs, the availability of support services in your home or community, the accessibility of your home, and the potential impact on your social connections and overall well-being. Consulting with healthcare professionals and loved ones can help you make an informed decision.

6. Are there any financial implications of leaving an assisted living facility?

The financial implications of leaving an assisted living facility can vary depending on your specific situation and the terms of your agreement with the facility. It is important to review your contract and discuss any potential financial obligations or refunds with the facility’s management. Consulting with a financial advisor or elder law attorney can also provide valuable guidance.

7. Can I leave an assisted living facility if I have a medical emergency?

Yes, you can leave an assisted living facility if you have a medical emergency. In such cases, it is important to notify the facility’s staff as soon as possible so they can assist you and ensure your safety. They may also be able to provide guidance on accessing appropriate medical care or transportation.

8. What happens to my belongings if I leave an assisted living facility?

If you leave an assisted living facility, your belongings will typically remain in your room or apartment until you return or make other arrangements. It is important to communicate your plans with the facility’s staff to ensure the security and care of your belongings during your absence.

9. Can I leave an assisted living facility if I am unhappy with the care or services provided?

Yes, you can leave an assisted living facility if you are unhappy with the care or services provided. It is important to communicate your concerns with the facility’s management and attempt to resolve any issues before making a decision. If necessary, you may also consider seeking guidance from a healthcare advocate or ombudsman.

10. What support services are available if I decide to leave an assisted living facility?

If you decide to leave an assisted living facility, there are various support services available to assist you in transitioning back to your home or another living arrangement. These may include home healthcare services, meal delivery programs, transportation assistance, and social support networks. Consulting with healthcare professionals and community organizations can help you access the appropriate resources for your needs.

Leaving an assisted living facility, whether temporarily or permanently, is a personal decision that should be made with careful consideration and consultation with healthcare professionals, loved ones, and the facility’s staff. By understanding the process and available options, you can make an informed choice that best meets your needs and preferences.


  1. Can a Person Leave a Nursing Home?
  2. Rights Regarding Transfer & Discharge
  3. 3 Signs It's Time to Leave Your Assisted-Living
  4. Can You Check Yourself out of a Nursing Home?
  5. It Can Happen: Seniors Getting Kicked Out of Assisted Living
  6. How to Take a 'Vacation' From a Long-Term Care Facility
  7. Answering Your Frequently Asked Assisted Living Question
  8. When to Leave a Nursing Home and Move Back Home
  9. Understanding the Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver Program
  10. What Is the Average Length of Stay in Assisted Living?