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Choosing a Place for the Protected Person to Live

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Where Should the Protected Person Live?

Unless the court’s order says something different, a guardian may decide where the protected person will live, in or outside of Utah. However, the guardian must give deference to the protected person’s preference as to where they will live and their standard of living.

Utah Code 75-5-301.5

 

Options

For most of us, our daily routine consists of eating, dressing, bathing, and getting to and from home, work, or school, recreation when there is time and money, and caring for other personal needs. But what of the protected person who is unable to perform these activities to some extent or who depends totally on others? The following table is a brief guide to the residence options available. When making a decision about where the protected person will live, keep in mind

  • where the protected person wants to live;
  • what s/he can afford; and
  • where s/he will be safe and receiving appropriate care and support.

Some residence options may not be available in all communities.

Residence

Level of Assistance Needed

Possible Funding Sources

Independent Living
Lives in own home or rental unit or subsidized housing.; Lives alone or with spouse, adult children, others.

May require in-home services such as assistance with activities of daily living, home health care, care management, specialized transportation, home delivered meals, etc.

  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Medicaid
  • Private pay
  • Programs for individuals with disabilities
  • Housing may be subsidized by HUD
  • VA

Residential Home
Residential facility designed to serve adults with chronic disabilities. These homes usually have six or fewer occupants and are staffed 24-hours a day by trained caregivers.

Continual assistance with activities of daily living and supervision. May require management if behavior is dangerous to self or others, such as aggression or tendency to run away.

  • Medicaid
  • Mental health funding
  • Private pay
  • Programs for individuals with disabilities
  • VA

    Assisted Living
    Residential facility designed to serve adults who need 24-hour supervision, but not the 24-hour medical care provided by a nursing home. Range in size from small residential house to large facility.

    Supervision or assistance with activities of daily living.; Coordination of services.; Medication management by trained staff.

      • Medicaid
      • Private pay
      • VA

      Skilled Nursing Facility
      Residential facility designed to serve adults who are chronically ill or recuperating, need continuous nursing care and other health services, but not hospitalization.

      Person needs trained staff for help with activities of daily living, medication management, or supervision and nursing care.

      • Medicaid
      • Medicare (limited to short-term rehabilitative services)
      • Private pay
      • VA

      Rehabilitation Center
      Often a part of a Skilled Nursing Facility. Short-term residence.

      Physical therapy and other care during transition to another residential setting.

      • Medicaid
      • Medicare (limited to short-term rehabilitative services)
      • Private pay
      • VA

      Intermediate Care Facility for Intellectual Disabilities
      Institution for the treatment, rehabilitation, supervision of people with intellectual disabilities.

      A protected residential setting with supervision, rehabilitation, evaluation, or care planning

      • Medicaid
      • Private pay
      • Programs for individuals with disabilities

      Hospital
      Provides medical care for people who are ill or injured.

      Individual requires 24-hour care for a physical illness or injury

      • Insurance
      • Private pay
      • Medicare
      • Medicaid
      • other public programs
      • VA

      Mental Health Institution
      Hospitals specializing in treatment of serious mental illness.

      Individual needs psychiatric treatment and therapy. While patients may be admitted on a voluntary basis, involuntary commitment is required when a person poses a danger to themselves or others.

      • Insurance
      • Private pay
      • Medicaid
      • VA

       

      Staying at home

      The house or apartment itself should be safe and habitable. If the protected person is renting, make sure the landlord makes any repairs required by law. If the protected person would be safe at home, but needs help, consider arranging for someone to perform those everyday tasks that the protected person cannot do for himself or herself.

       

      Residential care

      If the protected person does not want to live at home, is no longer safe at home or does not have the money or support to do so, it may be necessary to move to a more protected setting. Consult with the protected person's healthcare providers and other professionals for recommendations concerning placement in a facility that will best meet the protected person's needs. For a brief description of the options, see the table above.

      A pet may be extremely important to the protected person, and the protected person may want to keep the pet or at least have regular visits. Some facilities allow residents to keep pets or to have visits by pets. If the pet cannot live with the protected person, arrange for shelter, food, water, exercise and medical care for the pet.

      Following admission, try to visit the protected person regularly. Speak with the protected person privately so s/he can inform you of any problems with the living situation. Consult with staff to make sure that:

      • the protected person's needs are met;
      • s/he is eating well;
      • s/he is getting the correct medicine and medical care; and
      • if s/he wants, is participating in activities.

      Residents of facilities have rights established by law. You can talk to the owner or the administrator of the care facility about your concerns or to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman is a person who visits residents in residential care facilities, listens to their concerns and complaints and tries to solve the problems.

      Simply keeping others involved in the protected person's life is a guard against abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Isolation increases the risk of harm. Even if a facility is licensed and highly rated, it is still possible for the protected person to be abused, neglected or financially exploited. For more information about the warning signs of abuse, neglect — including self-neglect — and exploitation, see: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/elder-abuse-and-neglect.htm.

      Call Adult Protective Services (APS) if you think the protected person has been abused, neglected or financially exploited. Call 911 if the circumstances are life-threatening.

       

      Changing residence

      You can move the protected person to another residence in Utah without the court's permission. However, you must:

      • file with the court a notice of your intent to move at least 10 days before the move, and
      • serve the notice on the interested persons within 10 days of the move

      There are no forms to report the intent to move. A letter or email will do. Address your letter or email to the clerk of the court that appointed you. Be sure to include your case number and the person’s name.

      Utah Code 75-5-312(3)(f)(iv).

      You do need the court's permission to transfer the guardianship and conservatorship to another county within Utah or to another state. For more information, see our page on Moving a Guardianship or Conservatorship.

      You must also notify the court if you move. Rule of Civil Procedure 76.