Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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Can APS Or The State Of Arizona Force Someone To Go To A Nursing Home?

Self-determination is the key. Many victims of maltreatment often tolerate the maltreatment because the perpetrator threatens them with being placed in a nursing home. It is important to understand that as long as the client has the capacity to make or communicate informed decisions, no one can force them to live in a nursing home. They can choose their place of residence. Nursing home placement may be one of the options available only if the client meets the medical and financial eligibility criteria. Nursing home placements are usually ordered and/or recommended by a physician.

Perpetrators convince many victims of maltreatment that if "state government" gets involved, the client will be placed in the state’s custody and the client will end up in a nursing home. The "state" does not take custody of adults. APS does not have the authority to make a client live in a nursing home. If the client can no longer take care of him/herself, APS will offer suggestions for living arrangements based on the client’s eligibility for certain services. Nursing home placement may be one of the options available.

If a client is no longer able to care for him or herself and no longer has the capacity to make or communicate informed decisions, APS will initiate the appointment of a guardian/conservator. Depending on his/her finances, the client may need a nursing home or placement in some other type of supervisory facility that can meet the needs of the client.