D.C. Bill Would Ban Assisted Living Communities From Accepting Dementia Patients

If passed, a local Council bill in Washington, D.C., would ban the 12 assisted living communities in the nation’s capitol from accepting residents who have been diagnosed with dementia or need hospice care.

Specifically, one sentence in the bill would prohibit local assisted living communities from admitting any resident who “is or has ever been diagnosed with moderate to severe dementia, or requires hospice care,” according to The Washington Post.

The bill would not result in the eviction of residents who are already in D.C. assisted living communities and have dementia or require hospice care.

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Roughly 600 people currently live in D.C.’s dozen assisted living communities, The Washington Post reported, citing LeadingAge D.C.

The D.C. Council bill is being met with criticism from the senior housing industry, as well as potential senior housing consumers. 

“It is causing a lot of seniors and family members in the District great concern,” Christy Kramer, the director of Leading Age D.C., told The Washington Post.

Kate Sullivan Hare, executive director of the organization that advocated for and crafted the bill—the Long Term Care Quality Alliance (LTCQA)—said the group did not mean to prohibit hospice patients and memory care residents from all assisted living communities in D.C.

Rather, the LTCQA wants individuals who have dementia limited to communities that have dedicated “memory care units,” as these units, are best equipped to treat people who have moderate to severe memory loss, Sullivan Hare told The Post.

Sullivan Hare added that she would support an amendment to the D.C. Council bill clarifying that assisted living communities with specialized memory care units would still be permitted to admit residents with dementia.

To read the full report in The Washington Post, click here.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson