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What is Assisted Living?
Who is the best person to act as a responsible party for an assisted living resident?
Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM
First off, it's important to understand what it means to be a responsible party for an assisted living resident. Basically, it relates to who is responsible for the costs of care should the resident be unable to handle payments. The responsible party may be financially liable for picking up the costs from his or her personal funds, or he or she may simply have access to the resident's income/banking accounts and be able to make financial decisions on his or her behalf. It's important to understand this distinction because it will ultimately be part of the assisted living resident agreement.
Once you determine what signing on as a responsible party entails, then you have to figure out the best person to handle those roles. Ask a lot of questions up front about any language in the contract that you're unclear about. Only then can you sit together with your senior loved one and other family members to see who is best suited to take on the responsibility.
Often, the responsible party is the adult child who is most involved in the senior's care decisions. But again, because of the possible financial obligation, you want to understand and be comfortable with how it may (or may not) involve your own personal finances.