No, the room and board portion of a senior living facility is not deductible under medical expenses. It is no different than paying rent in an apartment.
Because she is receiving services (a place to live) in exchange for the $18,000 this is not a donation either. To be considered a donation, you cannot receive something of value in exchange for the money given.
However, if she is receiving medical care separate from the rent then that is deductible.
The only time the room and board portion is if it is medically necessary to be in the facility, such as when you are hospitalized because you just had surgery and are not able to leave the facility yet.
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