My Mother had a heart attack and after being stabilized at the hospital was sent to a nursing home. After about a week my sister and I decided to see if we could locate an assisted living facility for her since at this point she only needed oxygen and some physical therapy. Keep in mind at this point we had discussed with her the possibility of moving her to an assisted living facility but had never decided as to where or when this might happen.
We found one that looked like it would meet her needs and after taking a tour we were advised that one of their nurses would have to evaluate her to determine what level of care she needed. Having only POA I wasn't sure if I could legally sign the admission agreement, but they said that was no problem so I signed the agreement and handed them a check to cover the remaining 15 days of October.
The next day I called my mother in the morning and advised that someone from the facility would be coming that afternoon to evaluate her for a transfer. Herein lies the confusion. I thought she understood that after she was evaluated she would be going to the new facility, but obviously she did not because when I talked to her that evening she stated she did not want to go anywhere except back to her home. Also she said the woman that came that afternoon did not examine her or tell her why she was there, so she assumed it was not the nurse that I had told her was coming.
The next morning. I informed the facility of her change of mind. Since, besides the evaluation, the facility performed no other service I assumed I could get back the money already paid for the last half of October, minus maybe a small cancellation fee. As it turns out, not only will they keep the amount already paid, but since it was a thirty day contract I will be billed for the first 15 days of November. All this for an apartment my mother has not even stepped foot in.
The only thing that comes to mind is the fact that a POA is not the same as guardianship and the argument could be made that I had no right to use her money in order have her transferred to another facility in the first place. Since she does not have dementia and can sign agreements her self it may not be legally binding for me to do on her behalf without express written consent from her, which I did not have. In actuality there is no reason this nurse, or whoever she was, could have easily taken the agreement documents with her and had my mother sign them when she was there.
Most likely I'll need to consult an attorney about this, but I thought someone out there might be able to provide some guidance before I do that.