Share story

Jerry Large rightly observed, “Seeing poverty as an individual problem misses the root causes and creative solutions” [“Shedding light on complexities of poverty” Local News, May 28].

I suggest that one root cause of poverty among the elderly may be the fact that Washington state does not require assisted-living-facility licensees to make advance disclosure of all services, charges and service limitations to all customers all the time. State law permits assisted living licensees to blindside some customers with “extra charge” services, or with service limitations that may be made up hiring an in-home service agency at an hourly rate. Either situation can throw well-made financial plans of elderly people into chaos.

And did you know that an assisted-living licensee who has a contract to provide assisted-living services to Medicaid-eligible individuals may evict a person who has been privately paying — becoming eligible for Medicaid by virtue of having exhausted personal resources? Nothing in state law requires an assisted-living licensee with a Medicaid contract to provide services to each and every resident if or when they exhaust private funds and become Medicaid-eligible. The law permits “involuntary discharges” of these individuals.

Liz Tidyman, Bellevue