Assisted living center could be investigated

June 11, 2008 4:01:08 PM PDT
There have been several complaints about centers owned by assisted living concepts.

Families say they could stay even when they convert to Medicaid, but dozens said that's not what's happening.

Marilou Rochford moved her 78 year old mother into the Chapin House assisted living center in Rio Grande six years ago on the promise she could stay there even when her private money ran out and her Medicaid kicked in.

But after spending $300,000 she was told that policy was changed and her mother had to go.

"I was very, very upset I was furious and I had to take this to the next level," said Rockford The next level was the State Department of Public Advocate. It's now asking a judge for all records of residents at facilities owned by assisted living concepts, including Chapin House.

There investigating Rochford's and others complaints about promises broken.

"To move someone out of an assisted living facility after a promise that they could stay is detrimental," said Gwen Orlowski with the New Jersey Department of Public Advocate. A lawyer for assisted living concepts told Action News evicting residents who could not longer pay is legal and handing over all facility records is unjustifiable.

Rochford has fought this battle for months her mother remains at Chapin House but she worries about other seniors there.

"What about seniors who don't have an advocate or a son or daughter to come down and say this is wrong," she added.

The Department of Health and Senior Services is also investigating this issue.

Some state lawmakers are also taking notice. They're trying to make it illigeal to evict seniors from assisted living centers when they convert to Medicaid.

The decision on whether Assisted Living Concepts will have to release their records is expected on June 17th, 2008.

ALS South Jersey Locations:
-The Baker House: Vineland, New Jersey
-The Goldfinch House: Bridgeton, New Jersey
-The Lindsay House: Pennsville, New Jersey
-May House: Egg Harbor Twp., New Jersey
-Chapin House: Rio Grande, New Jersey
-The Granville House: Burlington, New Jersey
-Maurice House: Millville, New Jersey
-Post House: Glassboro, New Jersey