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I moved in with my mother 4 years ago because she is in a wheelchair and it was getting too hard for her to function on her own. This is in an independent living building and 5 months ago they quarantined everyone in the building. No one is allowed in and no one allowed out. We are both losing our minds! I'm curious if they can legally enforce this? She may have signed a lease 14 yrs ago when she moved in, but these rules would not have been in the lease at that time. Can they evict us if we start going out for drives, or visit her friend (of course taking all COVID precautions)? How could they evict us if they won't give us the opportunity to find other housing options?! She is paying $2500/month for a <500 sq ft prison cell!


Because of these circumstances, I AM looking to buy a place for us but am concerned that doing this is really going to imprison me. We can't afford round the clock help but would hire home health for 4 hours or so a day, so I could have a tiny life of my own. Anybody have suggestions on what we can do? We can't keep living indefinitely like this, they are saying it could be like this until next summer.

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Yes. I'm afraid you do need to follow the rules. Have you considered setting up a tele-health visit to try to get some advice or medication to help you deal with things? (Maybe work on more positive language? 500 square feet is seven to ten 48-70 square foot prison cells; try thinking of it as a huge cruise ship suite. Your "ship" doesn't have COVID and doesn't want it.)

I would not recommend buying a place. My feeling is that Mom is on a plateau where she is now, but you are struggling to provide enough care. Moving has a chance of moving her over the tipping point where she can't get by with the care you can provide, even with part time supplementation. If you must move, rent, so you can downsize when you are alone or relocate so you can visit more easily. Sorry.

In my area, we use the term independent living to refer to private apartments with lots of common areas, where residents are provided with meals, light housekeeping, 24 hour management, utilities, and some activities and scheduled transportation. Is yours really just the apartment? Are there no on-campus places to get away from each other?
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Reply to jar3431
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Your option is to move out. What the facility is doing is legal and it’s happening across the country. The MN department of Health is who you should contact about this. They are the entity that is calling the shots.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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No one is very happy about the isolation. But it is for the safety of you, your Mom, and all others in the facility. Covid-19 is not going away any time soon and is in fact spreading. You will have to obey the rules, as far as I can see, for the health and safety of all.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Of course there was nothing in the lease all those years ago about a pandemic.

Yes it is frustrating to have to stay home 24/7.

In my province it it the Provincial Health Officer and local Health Authorities that are making the rules, not individual businesses, care facilities etc.

Everyone following the rules helps to keep everyone safe.

Now to the idea of moving out. Mum is in her 80’s and this is her home of 14 years. My Mum is 86 and has lived in her home about 16 years. It can be incredibly disruptive to move, add in a pandemic, who is going to help pack, move and unpack?

As uncomfortable as it is staying put, I think it is physically and mentally safer for Mum. She may have needed fall assist once, but you know it will happen again. Each time you have someone come into your home you are putting your health at risk.
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Reply to Tothill
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susieq1216 Jul 29, 2020
You're probably right. Except mom wants to move just as bad as I do, but yes, it would be a big adjustment for her. I am just really stressed because usually my sister would come once in a while and I could get away for the week-end. I have not had even one day off since last fall and am beyond burned out :(
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Unlike an AL independent living is an apartment, correct? No, I don't see how they could legally keep you inside. Just like the Government and States, they can request but they can't make you. I would call your local Housing authority and ask that question.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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susieq1216 Jul 29, 2020
Yes, independent living is an apartment and you can add services at extra charges as it is needed.

What I don't understand is why can the staff come and go and I can't (I hear about the vacations they are taking and what they do on week-ends). Yes, they have their temps checked and answer 7 questions when they come to work, and because I am considered a live-in PCA I have to do this everyday also.
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