Sam Bauman: Contracts vital when choosing an assisted-living facility |

Sam Bauman: Contracts vital when choosing an assisted-living facility

Sam Bauman

I received a letter at the Appeal office recently that alerted me to something that anyone getting involved in finding assisted-living space (ALS) should be aware of — and that’s the difference between ALS contracts and regular rental units. The reader (who didn’t sign her name along with a page from the AARP publication she enclosed) knew I would find the information of interest.

The story started with a search for an ALS for an 87-year-old woman. Her daughters showed her the facility and all seemed well, and the papers were signed. When Mom moved in, they found she couldn’t reach the light switches, nor could she get her walker through the narrow bathroom doors.

The ALS company, Holiday Retirement, demanded two months’ rent despite the problems with the space. A legal battle took place until AARP stepped in and talked to Holiday. The company finally backed down and refunded the $6,700 it had taken from the mother’s bank account. AARP praised the company later.

The point is, ALS rentals are not covered by the same laws that cover conventional rentals. Says AARP housing expert Don Redfoot, “In most states key aspects of retirement living are governed not by housing laws but by regular contract law, which gives providers a lot more leverage and removes many expected consumer protections — including eviction and changes in fees.”

What might lead to eviction? “Unlike conventional leasing or renting contracts, some assisted-living contracts allow eviction if the inhabitant becomes too disabled or experiences specific health conditions.”

Thanks to my mystery writer for forwarding me this guidance. I’ve heard some horror stories about ALS, but happily, none in Carson. And Holiday Retirement operates a facility here. Sounds like a place worth checking if in need.


Carson City Recreation is offering a series of easy, one-hour walks around town. They are easy-paced on level ground and last for an hour. All skill levels and seniors are welcome. For more information, call Donna M. Inversin at 775-315-6763.

The next walk is set for 9 a.m. March 4 at the Carson River Park on Carson River Road. I’ve hiked there, and it’s easy and pretty. After that is the March 11 hike along the Empire Ranch Trail, and it’s very enjoyable. Meet at the Morgan Mill River access area just west of the BLM offices off Dear Run Road.

The walks will continue through April 15.

Walking is a fine way to exercise, but as I pointed out to a friend, you need a little more. I gave him a pair of old 5-pound weights that I had outgrown, and now, after starting with 3-pounders, he’s happily better fit at 5 pounds.


Now that my old teaching base, Boulder at Heavenly, is open, I’ve been enjoying the easy runs there as well as those serviced by the slow, old North Bowl chair. There’s a group of seniors I run into on the easy green run, not an organized bunch but skiers who have survived aging well. The Boulder run is moderate and is seldom crowded. There are lots of younger skiers practicing their wedge turns, while seniors slide along on shaped skis doing the modern system.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal.