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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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Hi Freqflyer, typically, she is smart as a tack - smarter than I am and I'm half her age. I certainly don't go over each receipt after shopping, but she does.

Her current lease doesn't end until next May. Her health is failing and I (and maybe I'm just being selfish here) I would feel better if she took this time to look more carefully into the establishments she is interested in.

I have to admit...I rather wigged out after reading a post where it said some Assisted Living homes don't allow microwaves or toaster ovens. She currently can manage her own breakfast and lunch, but needs her son to manage dinner, since her last debacle. It used to be that she could manage by herself for many days and now that is not the case.

If she is to go into Assisted Living, that means she can toast a bagel or make toast if she wants to and clearly this is not the case in some places. So I pointed this out and just asked her to call around to make sure the places she was interested in would allow that.

Her son does everything that should be done "on paperwork." He rarely, if ever, takes her to do anything fun. I did that, but now my ankle is broken and can't manage it.

Her daughter will stay on the phone with her and watch "Dancing with the Stars" once a week, but when my elderly friend was stuck down there, the daughter's hubby got his panties in a knot because his dinner wasn't on time because, God forbid, she went and visited her mom at the rehab center.
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hobbesmom, so what if the place charges double, it's up to your friend to accept or reject moving into the facility.

Wee bit over-protective? Let's say you are helicopter over-protective. Let your friend or her son do the calling, NOT you. One has to be careful not to have damaged any chance of a friend getting into the place depending on what type of conversation one had with the staff and the CEO.

You really need to let it go regarding the cost of this facility.
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Linda22, thank you for your response. Yes, yes, you are correct when you say, "he people who can give you the details of day to day items will be staff."

I have to say, I'm more than a wee bit over-protective of her just for starters. In my wee head, if a company wants to charge twice or more, than ALL of their people should be avaialable. Let's put it into real estate terms...if I buy a condo/apartment that's just okay, then no worries. If, however, I buy a 1 or 2 bedroom unit at the NYC Plaza Hotel, then, yes, I expect not just full service but exceptional service.

That particular facility gets to brag about being the only game in town for Orthodox Jews. All well and good; however, if they want to charge over twice the local going rate, then I expect better service and not just because they keep a Kosher menu (it's really not that hard). Still, I certainly don't expect the CEO to hang up on me. Don't worry - I'm over it. He's just a jack a** and, as you pointed out, I should've asked to speak to the staff.
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hobbesmom, in another "question" you had posted on this website, you said this friend of yours is sharp at a tack.... I believe this friend or her own son [whom she lives with] should be the one doing the calling of these retirement facilities to find out what is best for her own needs, and to see of the kitchen can help her with her Kosher needs.

You said the son can't be bothered with help out, yet he will take time to take his mother to doctor appointments and do her shopping. Are these complaints coming from your friend about her son? As are the complaints about her daughter's husband? What more does she want her son and daughter to do?
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These facilities are like every other business, in that the people who can give you the details of day to day items will be staff. The sales rep will have the explanation of all items and value added things that they feel makes them worth the extra money. The director of nursing will be able to discuss the medical care and ratios. The activities person will be able to tell you about outings, transporation, daily fun things. The CEO doesn't know most of this, as his job doesn't involve the little nuts and bolts. Personally, I'd go visit and talk with staff, and not make a decision based on the CEO conversation.
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Her son takes her to doc appointments and shops for her, but doesn't interact with her otherwise. Currently, they are in an apartment with master suites divided by the living space. Thank heavens she has one of those "I've fallen and can't get up" necklaces because she fell - he was home and still didn't hear her call. He stumbled out of his bedroom after the EMTs came.
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freqflyer - I am new to this. I am also not part of the family. I would like to think that if a company is charging twice as much, then their CEO would make himself available. Not only was he not available, but when he did call, he hung up on me simply by me asking what he was doing during that time. So, I'm guessing (I'm wording this lightly...please feel free to insert a lot of cuss words) this is not where I want someone I care about to go to. She is Jewish and that is the only local Jewish facility within a half-hour driving of where she currently is. Well, that option is null as far as I'm concerned. I will miss her terribly, but I think she ought to go somewhere in Florida, where her needs will be met both as an elder care patient as well as her religious needs/wants. Clearly, it's not here. :(
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hobbes, you just back off and let the family deal with her. The toaster oven is just a phony excuse not to move. She is manipulating you, getting you to run all over the place and that gives her a great sense of control. She has probably done that so many times to her kids that they stay away. Let it go.
It's nice that you called around, but unless she wants to actually go there, and with her son or daughter who can answer financial questions and SIGN the admissions forms (very significant) not much can be done.
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What is the name of this place?
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Hobbesmom, am I recalling that this is the only kosher facility in town, and that's what your friend requires? Does she have other members of her community who reside there? Can you be in contact with their family members? Why does she think she needs a toaster oven?
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So, we have a son who takes you to her numerous doctor appointments but can't be bothered about anything else, certainly not socially. Then, we have a daughter who lives numerous states away and gets to play the "good guy" but, god forbid her hubby's dinner isn't served on time.

I am part of this because she asked me to be. I am not a masochist.
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Christ Almighty, my typos are atrocious. I'm not even drinking. Oi.
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We got out of the house 2+ years ago. That was not easy. She's had both knees replaced and at least one hip. There was a very scary staircase to go .upstairs and no bathroom on the first floor. Thankfully, she is out of that mess but she needs more help and attention than her son is willing to give. Hence, the whole convo about Assisted Living. and now we're learning that Assisted Living can have many different definitions. She will require at least a toaster over and according to here, that is not allowed.
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Pam, no one but you can talk me off a ledge. Thanks :: smile ::

It was through this message board that I learned Assisted Living can mean many things. Some will charge you a gazillion dollars and then charge extra for toilet paper! The thing is, supposedly this place is where she wants to go, but she's been balking about the cost for eons. The price really may not be an issue - yes, their up front cost is twice as high, but it depends upon what it includes. Other companies may say they charge less, but then they nickel and dime you to death. Ultimately, it depends on her wants and needs. Call me crazy, but if a company touts itself as special and charges twice as much as other local services do, then I expect special service. Long story short the CEO finally did call and hung up on me.

Before she even came into my life, I read stories about "old folks" essentially living on cruise ships. I thought that was nutty but now, not so much.

texakana - her son is my sister's bf. He is local. He makes sure she gets to her doctor appointments, but not much else. Her daughter lives in Florida. She gets to be the good guy because she doesn't have to deal with the day-to-day things. Oh! They talk on the phone when Dancing with the Stars comes on! When she was in Florida (near the daughter), daughter's husband (we're talking about people in their 60s) put up quite a fuss because his dinner was not on time.
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hobbesmom, I am confused, why do you want to speak to the CEO or whomever runs this retirement home? If your friend wants to live there and spend the money, that should be her business, even if the home charges twice as much for their care. That is why there are many choices of retirement communities out there. You pick what you can afford. You aren't going to find one that give everything free, that retirement home would go bankruptcy real quick.
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Where is this mans family?
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CEO's don't know diddly about patient care. Talk to the Head Nurse if you want real answers. Do it in person, then they know you are serious.
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I guess it depends on the facility. Some of the Assisted Living facilities that I have contacted had sales reps, but most had a director or office rep that gave me info and met with me and gave me a tour of the place. I would first ask if they had any openings for a female with dementia, then what kind of pay they accepted and then they told me who to speak with if we got that far. While touring the place they explain their services and what level of care they offer.
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You talk to sales first. You find out what is included in the base price and what levels of care are offered, and what is charged for them. Then they assess your friend and they tell you what level of care she needs. Most ALs don't have CEOs.
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