QUESTION: Is there any law on caregivers and how young they can be? We have children who are going to school and grandparents let them stay as caregivers. We are a 55+ senior community.
ANSWER: There is no age-limit for caregivers in senior communities. The defined term is a “permitted healthcare resident” (Civ. Code § 51.3 & § 51.11) and they can be a family member of the senior as long as the care they provide is substantial in nature and necessary for the senior’s daily activities or medical treatment or both. Since California considers a 16-year-old mature enough to work and drive a car, it is likely they would be deemed capable of providing care to a senior.
Mobilehome Communities. Mobilehome senior communities have a separate set of statutes governing them, two of which set the age restriction for caregivers at 18 or older. Civil Code § 798.34(c) provides that owners can share their mobile home with any person over 18 years of age if that person is providing live-in health care or live-in supportive care to the homeowner pursuant to a written treatment plan prepared by the homeowner’s physician.
Civil Code § 799.9(b) similarly states that an owner who resides in a senior mobilehome park may share his mobilehome with any person 18 years of age or older if this person is a parent, sibling, child, or grandchild of the senior homeowner and requires live-in health care, live-in supportive care, or supervision pursuant to a written treatment plan prepared by a physician and surgeon.
If an association is concerned with whether a person is really a caregiver or other qualified permanent resident, it can enact rules and policies which require any person residing with a senior verify the care being provided.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.