Michigan recently enacted the Continuing Care Community Disclosure Act. Effective December 31, 2014, this new law regulates senior living facilities. According to John Moolenaar, R-Midland, one of the bill's sponsors, Michigan law governing continuing care communities had not been updated since the 1970s.
A continuing care community includes an adult foster care facility, a home for the aged, an independent living unit, a nursing home, a home health care services agency or hospice. The new law will help senior citizens by clarifying their rights, ensuring they have access to all common areas in a facility and regulating how to obtain refunds if a resident moves out, dies or cancels a contract.
The Act specifically:
- requires a continuing care community to deliver to all prospective residents all the agreements and disclosure statements governing the facility.
- sets limits on the fees that can be charged to potential residents and how refunds are handled.
- requires all contracts to contain more detail regarding how and when a contract can be cancelled.
The new law also allows a continuing care community to file a petition with a probate court asking for a guardian to be appointed if a resident becomes incapacitated or unable to handle his personal or financial affairs. Finally, the new law provides civil fines and/or prison time for violations of the Act.