Friday, May 4, 2018
Recently I was asked the question whether a CCRC could bar new residents from moving into independent living units, if they were using wheelchairs or walkers. The question perplexes me, not just because of the legal implications under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal laws, but because I do understand what was motivating the question, at least in part. It was a concern about "sustainability" of the community living model, and the need to attract younger, healthier residents. In a sense, it was an argument that "I don't mind, but others might."
Paula Span, longtime columnist for the New York Times takes this issue to another venue -- "assisted living" -- where some operators are attempting to ban those who use wheelchair, even temporarily. The cited reason is that "we cannot accomodate a wheel-chair bound patient." She captures the dilemma well in her title, "Wheelchairs Prohibited In the Last Place You'd Expect."
Ultimately, I think we all need to be more comfortable with the fact that we do grow old and we do sometimes need assistance. But, I understand, this is tough to accept.