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My mother passed on April 29th in assisted living and 30-day notice was automatic. I paid full rent for the month of May and was denied access to her apartment due to pandemic. Now I am being asked to choose ONE day to pack and clean out her apartment. Shouldn't I be allowed the full 30-days I paid for to pack the apartment that she lived in for ten years? They will not allow movers. Pack apartment and they will move belongings and furniture to a "staging area" for pick up by movers. Does anyone have experience in this area?

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ElliesDtr, i'm so sorry for your loss! It is hard to fathom that in the midst of your grief they are adding to it by being unreasonable and inflexible. They should have waited for 2 weeks after her passing to "quarantine" her apartment and then allowed you in. How many people will they allow to help you on that 1 day? Tell them that if they only give you 1 day then you will come with 10 or more "family", since it is an impossibility to do it any other way. I'm wondering if you should contact an ombudsman to mediate this. Or is there a higher authority for that facility you could appeal to, like my MIL is in Presbyterian Homes and they have many locations and are non-profit but I'm pretty sure their individual administrators are not where the buck stops in bigger issues. I wish you comfort from your loving memories and peace in your heart as you work on a solution. ((hug))
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I’m very sorry for your loss. The apartment is yours for the thirty days. Some places will let you in, others will appoint someone to move your stuff outside of the building. They want new residents ASAP to continue receiving rent. Many places have lost lots of clients already due to depression and dying, but others have been taken out of lockdown situations, too. An ombudsman might help? Stand your ground, you have enough on your plate, you don’t need to be bullied now too.
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gdaughter Jun 22, 2020
Based on my family experience, some of the people working in these places --SOME of them--are not trustworthy and I would fear for theft if their staff is handling the situation...especially when family has not been allowed access but someone has a pass key...
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I think they will need to make reasonable accommodation, but they cannot allow coming and going. I think the reasons for this in times of covid-19 are clear. Yes, I just went through this. My brother died with hospice in his last days after a return from the hospital. I was so very lucky in having a good friend of his to whom he had left certain collections he had of pottery and furniture. This treasure of a man did it all as I was in another city in our state and "of an age" that I couldn't be out there traveling. He sent me the few things I wanted, did the safekeeping of certain papers. Packed things he was taking and got other things done. This was a two room Assisted Living apartment and it took him three days of steady work, with only him allowed in (one person allowed in). On the third day they moved to the front of the building at sidewalk the last things that were heavy with their own staff, and he was able with their help to get them into a pickup. It was grueling hard work, and with no thrift places available he had to do storing as well until things opened. I could never thank him enough; I have utterly no idea what I would have done without him. This was done by mid month and I am told that a refund from the day all was cleared is on the way. Much depends on the facility you are dealing with, but of course the one thing they cannot allow is people coming and going to the room over days. Each person coming in has to be screened, and then you have to HOPE they are not carrying things into the facility, because once it is in it is like a wildfire. What a dilemma. I so wish you luck. Along with all the grief and all the other work there is THIS as well.
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I can't imagine that one day would be sufficient to clear out an AL apartment. Have they also limited it to just you or are you allowed to bring other help?

I can understand the restriction on movers, but mom's place has people who can move items like furniture to a loading dock. Our mother is in MC, so there would be a lot less to manage, mainly clothing and a few personal items, but nothing really of any value. I think I could pack everything into a few or more boxes, prepped for them to move to the loading dock, in that one day, but if she were in AL, there are kitchen items, bath items, clothing, bedding, probably a lot more personal items, etc. One day is likely not going to be enough.

Have you appealed to anyone higher up, someone who maybe has a little more sense? Given that most AL have restricted residents to their rooms (possibly walking outside now too), making sure that you follow safety instructions should be more than enough to allow you to go in for the day and pack, and then return another day, if needed, to pack more. It isn't like you'd be hanging out with residents or interfacing with anyone other than the one who lets you in!
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They may have their protocols, but you paid for a full month. Talk to the facility about what you can handle. Also talk with them about reimbursement. If you have problems, you may need to consult a lawyer.
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If they won't allow movers, they must allow you more time. I understand that they want to be cautious, but they shouldn't cause undue hardship when you're already grieving. This also sounds illegal as hell. Have you tried suggesting that they'll be hearing from your lawyer?
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gdaughter Jun 22, 2020
That's what I say /said in my response. Elder Law Attorney ASAP.
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Our ALF was a little different. After passing, they said take your time cleaning out, but charged for each day until everything was gone. I learned that 18 months ago when I had to clean out my mom's room mostly by myself. It took 6 days as I am not in good health. I had gotten my parents separate rooms which my mom was so grateful for. Father died on May 2, a Saturday evening. I had not paid May rent as he was on hospice care and I knew it was coming. Sunday my DH and I packed as much as we could to sort out at home. We filled their entire dumpster with non donatable stuff. It was a disgusting job. (Both were hoarders.) Monday I finished alone - another full SUV load. Hired a guy to pick up furniture Tuesday and turned in keys. I was charged for first 5 days of May @ $150/day. I got off easy. He had trashed that room! Everyone had to get temp checked and wear masks and gloves. We got it done pretty quick though. I gave a generous donation to employee fund for them putting up with a very difficult toxic resident. They have done an excellent job keeping the virus out. I last saw the old man in January. Poor hubby's last visit was in February. He came home so upset. We were done with the nasty verbal abuse. So glad it's finally over.
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gdaughter Jun 22, 2020
So so hard...especially with a hoarder. Sending hugs to you.
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Not exactly the same but my FIL died in memory care in May. We were required 14 days notice which also was automatic since he died. We were allowed in to pack his stuff within that 14 days; he did not have Covid and at that time, none was found in the facility. I agree that you should have been allowed in after 14 days. I would call the county health dept and ask specifically what the guidelines are supposed to be. Part of the "one day" is to limit the amount of coming and going so more people might be needed for you to get it done in one day. You probably will need to wear masks in the halls. Possibly you could go and in one day, choose what items you might want to keep, and tag what you might want to give to Goodwill or wherever. Take what you want and then hire a mover to pack the rest and move it. If she died from Covid, there may be special cleaning that needs to occur although it has been over a month since she died. My inlaws were in an independent living apartment. When they moved to MC, we did not move most of their furniture. We used a mover that the facility often worked with, who picked up the stuff we did not want, and took it to Goodwill.
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whaleyf Jun 22, 2020
She said they wouldn't allow movers. Which to me makes it much harder.
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Get an elder law attorney involved ASAP. I'm sure as soon as they hear from that attorney your time will be extended:-) That's outrageous UNLESS there was something in the original contract...which I would doubt since no one could have imagined this happening. It's cruel to expect this of you imo, especially since you were denied access, and out of concern for your own safety in re to COVID. I suppose there is some sense in keeping those not in the building prior out (like movers) but I'd be getting something in writing about their liability for theft and I'd be writing down everything you're taking to know it was not tampered with (tamper proof tape on boxes???)
Just when you think it can't get worse...my condolences in re to your mom as well. It takes so much energy to do anything when one is grieving and then to have to deal with this. Sounds like they have a new tenant ready to move in. But since you were denied access...that's another ballgame...definitely worth the investment to touch base with an attorney...either that, or I'd be telling them you'll pay another month's rent because you are not up to this challenge of 1 day or else. Let us know how it goes...
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shad250 Jun 22, 2020
OP paid for May, AL probably not charging for June, but would for July.
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My father passed away in LTC a week ago. My sister and I will go in and pack up what little he has left. I will take a couple of large trash bags that I will leave in the room for them to dispose of anything we don't wish to move out. Luckily he doesn't have much and we have asked if the facility would like his recliner and night stand for one of their respite rooms and they said yes. They will bring us a cart to place things on so we can haul it all out to the car what little we will keep. Your mom's facility should allow that as well. Surely they will let you have one other person in there with you to help. Otherwise that is extremely unreasonable. If you get it cleared out in less than a month they should give you back a refund on the days not occupied. If they won't do that then wait until the very end to get her things out. I don't know why these places can't be a little bit more helpful at these times.
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shad250 Jun 22, 2020
I'm sorry for your loss.
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