NY Times: Legal Rights for CCRC Residents Vary by State

Recent mainstream media coverage of lawsuits against continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) may be the result of residents’ limited legal rights that vary from state to state, suggest a New York Times blog.

Since CCRCs are regulated at the state level, there is no consistency as to what residents’ rights are from state to state, Penn State law professor Katherine Pearson told the NY Times.

Additionally in some states, CCRC regulations may emphasize disclosure more than consumer protections.

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“You can have a financial disclosure law that puts 99 percent of the burden on the resident to understand its significance,” Pearson says in the article. 

In efforts to improve CCRC transparency, several groups have banded together to educate prospective residents who are considering a move into these types of senior living communities. 

The National Continuing Care Residents Association (NCCRA) is one of those groups that works to educate residents on CCRCs and increase state oversight. The organization comprises 1,200 members, nine state associations and 38 member CCRCs. 

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The group publishes several online tools and resources that allow site users to look up recent CCRC litigation and court rulings, such as the recent case of Vi at Palo Alto, as well as other organization news. 

In February, residents of Vi at Palo Alto, a CCRC in California, filed a class action lawsuit against the community when they had found out that Vi’s management had not stashed their entrance fees into a reserve account, causing fears among residents that the CCRC wouldn’t be able to meet future obligations. 

The NCCRA has even drafted a residents’ “bill of rights,” which it expected to present at its semi-annual meeting in Mystic, Connecticut in April, NY Times notes.

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“All of us believe in the CCRC way of life, the value and usefulness of seniors banding together to mutually help each other meet the contingencies of growing old,” said the NCCRA’s incoming President Dan Seeger in the article.

Read more at The New York Times.

Written by Jason Oliva