I called the only local Jewish "old folks home" and asked to speak to the CEO. All I got was the run around.

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I got sent to Beth, Sarah, and Dawn, numerous times each but never who I asked for = the CEO. The crazy thing is, this is where my friend wants to stay but it's twice as much as other places per month. As many of you know, other places may state an opening price, but then they nickel and dime you to death - to the point of paying extra for toilet paper. I was trying to investigate this. In my wee head, I thought well, the up front cost is pricey, but then (I would hope) it would cover x,y,z. Sorry, if some company wants to charge twice as much as other local places, I should be able to reach the CEO.

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hobbesmom, there are more important aspect to a retirement home than being able to have a toaster oven in my room. And no, I wouldn't cross the place off my list just because I couldn't have that appliance. In fact, I would be glad that it is forbidden in the rooms because of a fire hazard.

Otherwise, you could probably find a much cheaper facility for your friend that does allow toaster ovens or microwaves in the resident's room, but the overall housekeeping of the whole building or the individual care could be sub-par. What is more important?
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hobbesmom, sounds like sticker shock to me. If you haven't been in market for something, your first exposure to the prices can leave you reeling. I took my mom shopping for sheets, which she had not bought probably for 30 years (getting them as gifts occasionally). She was so shocked by what a set of sheets cost I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get her to buy any. It was all I could to talk her out of the least expensive muslin.

I feel the same way in a car dealer's showroom waiting for my car to be servicded. OMG -- this car costs double what I paid for my first house!!

$5,000 a month and that doesn't even include toilet paper? $5,400 a month and I can't use a toaster oven?!! Yep. Sticker shock.

You are doing your friend an enormous favor by helping her with this research and educating her (and you) about what the market is like.

Maybe for now she could meet her needs in place with some additional in-home help and by looking up clubs and organizations where she could participate in activities with others in her age bracket.

When she does get to the point where she really does need one of these facilities perhaps by then the sticker shock will have worn off some and she can get past the price in thinking about them.

(And, although I know your question was rhetorical, I won't pass up a deluxe place (if I could afford it) just because I couldn't have a toaster oven in my room.)
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freqflyer, you said, "Hobbesmom, I do hope your friend doesn't turn down a 5-star retirement home over the fact that she can't toast a bagel in her room. "

Hmmm...well I would, wouldn't you? If you're paying over 5k a month and that doesn't count how they nickel and dime you for other things...don't you think that if you could use a toaster oven that you'd be allowed? That's why I got my panties in a knot. She has her wits about her. She has mobility issues but is perfectly capable of using a toaster oven. Yet, if she chose this facility's "Assisted Living" option, even that would have been stripped of her. Over 5k a month and that doesn't count laundry and in some places not even toilet paper? How crazy is that?

She had planned to visit another, yet non-kosher but chi-chi facility today, but balked at it once she got their tons of brochures, etc. She is safe, but lonely right now. Even their lowest priced level...for her to participate in their activities said she would have to stand for an hour and manage to get up and down steps by herself - again, for well over 5k and that doesn't count laundry.

Don't mind me. I'm just venting. It was a hard "go" dealing with both my parents' deterioration who in any of our wildest dreams could afford these supposed luxury places. Thanks to all of you, we now know not to assume anything - not even if toilet paper is included in these astronomical prices that most can't afford.
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Hobbesmom, I do hope your friend doesn't turn down a 5-star retirement home over the fact that she can't toast a bagel in her room.

I do realize to some elders such things as toast is a make or break deal. I've seen such commotion when dealing with my own parents. My Mom grumbles if a doctor's waiting room doesn't have a coat rack.... [sigh].
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So, for example, in Rockville, MD, there is a complex called Ring-Landow. Ring is Independent Living (full kitchen); Landow is Assisted Living. You need to look at the websites, call them up with her list of questions. Don't rely on rumors.
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Hobbesmom,if this facility has a website, download and print a brochure for your friend, otherwise, call and ask for one to be sent to you. You'll then have a better idea of what questions to ask. Please don't make assumptions about microwaves and toaster ovens, and whether this place is charging twice as much without knowing what the charges include.

An example. Some independent living facilities include three meals a day. Some don't. Different prices for different service. Some Assisted Living places included Medication Management as part of their base price, in others, it's an add on, dependent upon how many times a day you needs your meds dispensed. You need to look at the printed materials and talk to the right staff to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. And I agree with Pam, she's using the toaster oven as a way of avoiding the conversation.
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I should likely post this somewhere else but the kicker here seems to be that there are so many different forms of being handicapped. For now, my friend is clear of mind - yet if she's not careful, she may get stuck in a facility where she can't even make toast or a bagel. For some folks, that is a clear and present danger, but not for her. I'm just hoping she'll take the time to find out so she's not in for a very rude awakening and then has to move again.
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Yep, freqflyer - my grandfather and mom had various forms of dementia and would try to cook at odd hours of the night.

My concern is that she is able to handle a toaster oven for now, but it seems some Assisted Living places do not allow that - so that will be quite a shocker for her - and then it means she will have to move yet again into a nursing home (or whatever the places call where they cook your food). The moving is my worry. She did not do well the last time.
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There are people whose job it is to answer the questions of prospective clients. That does not include the CEO (if the organization has one.)

You should be able to get your questions answered by going in and talking to the appropriate people. (Those who actually have some hands-on knowledge of how the facility is run.)

You are wise to be getting a detailed view of the financial aspect. The base cost and the final cost could be far apart, and you need to know that when discussing it with your friend.

I think an elderly person would generally be better off in a place that could meet all her dietary needs than in a place where she feels she would have to do cooking in her own room. A microwave? Maybe. A toaster oven? -- That really doesn't sound too safe, does it? A potholder left too close to the heat source could put other residents at risk. Many care centers to not allow appliances that create heat, for safety reasons.

You are doing a wonderful thing for your friend by doing this research. I hope she appreciates it!
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As for toaster ovens, there is a good reason many places do not allow such an appliance.... fire hazard.

The elder while waiting for something to cook in the toaster oven could easily doze off, then off goes the fire alarms and sprinklers, then a mad rush for everyone to empty the building. Imagine the panic and older people trying to get outside, people could get seriously injured. Not worth the risk, no matter how careful your friend would be, the person in the next apartment might not be as careful.
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