All Ann Clinton wanted to do was play bingo.

But according to a recent New York Times article, she couldn’t because the continuing care retirement community where she lived segregated activities so that only certain residents with certain needs could participate in certain activities.

And apparently this type of segregation in some of these types of facilities isn’t that unusual.

“I’ve seen this same thing happen,” said Susan Ann Silverstein, senior lawyer at the AARP Foundation. “People being told: ‘You can’t go eat in the dining room.’ ‘You can’t go visit your friends in independent living; they have to come to you.’ It’s a very segregated situation.”

Lawyers for senior legal groups encounter these kinds of dramas fairly regularly. C.C.R.C.s, as such graduated facilities are known, promote themselves as communities where residents can transition as their needs increase, shifting from independent living to assistant living, or to nursing home or “memory support” units, without having to uproot themselves.

The facilities therefore house healthy seniors and those who are ill or disabled, people who need assistance and people who don’t. Some have been known to adopt exclusionary policies, mandating separate facilities and activities for those requiring different levels of care.

In 2011, for instance, a C.C.R.C. in Norfolk, Va., called Harbor’s Edge barred those in assisted living and nursing units from a popular waterfront dining room. The facility eventually reversed its policy after fuming residents and families contacted the local long-term-care advocate, a lawyer, local news media and The Times.


To read the Times’ story, visit: