I work at a retirement community and we offer certain items(toilet paper, paper towels, etc.) that are purchased at the Dollar Store for $1.00 each. We have always sold them to "Residents in need" for the same price of $1.00 each. Management has decided to start selling these items for $1.50 each starting 1 FEB 2016 even though the cost at the Dollar Store has not gone up. Is this legal or should it be considered "Elder Abuse?"

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I agree with Garden Artist, It is probably to cover 'overhead'. One way or another whether non/for profit someone is shelling out money for tmie, gas, etc to purchase products.
As for the legality, I tongue in cheek point you toward the hospital that charged me 7.00 for a sharpie and 15.00 for a bic razor when I had a c-section 13 years ago! lol. 8^}
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You post a variety of interesting questions.

1. There are the ethical as well as cost considerations. Is it ethical to charge residents for the convenience and accessibility of purchasing within the community as opposed to the financial and time costs of going to the Dollar Store? The proximity of the purchases is probably closer than a trip to the Dollar Store - that's a convenience factor which doesn't generally have a cost attached. I really don't know that there is an answer to this.

2. How are you paid, by whom, or is your work voluntary? The retirement community needs to cover its costs in order to provide goods to the community. Is there a subsidy from a corporate entity? Monthly maintenance costs from the residents? What other sources of income exist to pay the workers in the community? Would the community make a profit from selling to the residents at $1.50? Or would it just be breaking even?

3. What are the alternatives? Is there a transport vehicle that could take residents to a dollar store weekly, biweekly or monthly? Has anyone done a break-even analysis to determine if that's cheaper than charging more for the items?

4. Do you incur carrying costs for stocking and storing the merchandise, presumably after one of the staff picks them up? Is this space reallocated from another use? What other costs are factored into the decision to have this service? You really need to talk to the bookkeeper or accountant of the community for this information.

5. I hardly think it's elder abuse - there's a mix of profit and convenience, and I'm assuming that each elder has the option to do his or her own shopping, unless purchasing from the retirement community is mandatory, in which case there would be elements of the old "country store" philosophy which existed decades ago when workers were required to buy only from the company's store and were in fact exploited.

6. Is it legal? That's a good question, but I don't know offhand and don't have access to the legal software to do any case research, which I suspect would yield some guidelines or perhaps an answer. You'd have to research whether there were any federal or state statutes on the issue, and whether there's any applicable case law. Ideally, it would be nice to make a comparison of practices in other retirement communities. All that research is
time consuming.

There are a lot of considerations; I'm not sure that there is a right answer.
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If the decision was made by the elected trustees of the community, it is perfectly legal.
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