How can an Independent Living Facility sign my parents up for a one year contract when Mom can barely walk with a walker?

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I am appalled that an independent living facility can get my parents to sign a 1 year contract when they are both fall risks. I found out my parents signed it. I called the director and asked how can they sign them up without any kind of evaluation. I was told they do not need an evaluation. The director knew who I was referring to without telling her their names. She said they strongly suggested assisted living but my dad was adamant they did not want it. My dad has had 2 strokes and my mom can barely walk a few feet with a walker. I told them how badly they are doing in their home and how many falls they are taking and they said there was nothing they could do. I feel like they are just taking their money.

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I hope you recorded that conversation - if not call again stating your concerns so you have something to hold over them later - then see if you can get on your parents account[s] so if they are moved out by them you can stop payment on those cheques - the recording will show how worried you before your parents moved in etc should you need it in court 
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I live in an independent living facility that also currently does not require a physical evaluation from the facility, although perhaps a cursory statement from one's own doctor was required. I also made my decision to come here independently. My perspective is a little different from some of the other writers. Some people who live here not only can barely walk with a walker; they use a wheelchair all or part of the time. If the residents can provide for their own assistance; e.g., through a more able spouse or outside help--even full-time help--they may stay here. The main concern is whether they are able, with or without help, to evacuate the building in case of emergency.

A number of years ago, when my mother went to an independent living facility, you could not use a walker at all, and the same was true where I now live. Those policies have changed. Over time, perhaps for financial reasons, independent living communities have loosened their requirements in terms of physical mobility. If your parents are not mentally impaired, then even if you're not OK with their being in independent living, the facility well may be. In addition, in my experience, when people are unable to manage in independent living, they are required to move from independent living--either to a higher level of care, if available, in the same or a physically contiguous community, or to a different community that has a higher level of care. This latter situation occurred with a friend of mine.

For the most part, I believe the current philosophy is that it's best to live with the highest level of independence possible. Frequently, people in assisted living also have some loss of mental capacity. If your parents are OK mentally, they may have fewer people to interact with in assisted living. I agree with those who have said you need to check the contract carefully, but if it clearly allows for a transfer to a higher level or care--or a release from the contract if it's determined that a higher level of care is needed--you may be able to decide that the existing arrangement is OK for now. You may also be able to see yourself from the contract whether or not an attorney is needed at this point.
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From the information you provided, I'm not sure there is really anything you can do. I have read plenty of comments in various posts about people with memory issues being allowed to make their own "decisions", aka if they refuse care or trip to the ER, it is their "right". THAT seems decidedly odd to me!

In your parents' case, there are no memory issues addressed - your profile only indicates mobility issues. You also indicated the director "... said they strongly suggested assisted living but my dad was adamant they did not want it." If dad wants it and signs for it, so be it. If dad had cognitive issues, perhaps there might be a way out of this, HOWEVER, in any case even if there is a way "out", what will dad have to say? Being of sound mind, he can decide to live where he wants to, no? Right or wrong, it is still his/their decision.

The good news though - you indicate many falls at home; At least if/when either falls in the IL area, (in their own room maybe not, but are there "call" buttons or phones?) there are many others around who can help or call for help. At home, yes if one has not fallen and has access to a phone, a call for help can be made, but they would likely get help quicker with others around.

Even if you have DPOA, it cannot be "activated" until the principle is deemed incapacitated. So, other than working on your dad (wouldn't hold my breath!) and asking the administration what the deal is if they need to move to A/L (assumption is they have tiers in the place), I really don't see anything that you can do about this.
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I would strongly urge you to consult an elder law attorney.
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The type of facilities they offer is probably a big key factor here. If they have an AL facility your parent's can move into the contract probably allows for that and transferring of fees toward that. The money grab thought for me depends more on whether they have been living in this IL facility and this is a new year contract or they are just moving in. But either way (other than the money grab possibility) it isn't normally in the facilities best interest to have residents in IL who really need AL because they start to use up resources with their extra needs and it's the facility that often forces the step up to AL, at least that's the way I have understood it. So not doing an evaluation if they are new tenants seems very odd and if they have been living there the facility has to be pretty aware of their needs and where they should be which of course brings us back to the ethics of letting them sign a year contract knowing they will likely be required to move to AL before that year is up if there is any financial advantage. So if there are more costs to your parents in two months moving to AL then there would be if they moved to AL now...you might want to consult someone who oversees these facilities but if the difference in cost is negligible and the fees just transfer and increase proportionately, they may be doing the right thing because they know how difficult this subject is for your dad and need time to get him "ready" to accept the move. It does sound like your dad is part of the issue and reasoning here but I'm realizing I'm of no help here because I'm not sure what I think without knowing more about the terms of and reason for the year contract and what options the facility offers. I think I just talked in circles...sorry but I do feel strongly it's something you should look into more and closely at, consult an expert even if possible providing you have that ability. I think it will require either POA for one or both of them or their verbal consent for you to have all that info.
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You really have to read the contract that was signed. There is usually a termination clause if it’s assessed that your parents need assisted living instead of independent. It has a scale of refund per the amount of time they spent in Independent living. The entire idea of this is for them to be able to go up the ladder of care when needed and stay in the facility. Of course there will be a moving fee when their belongings are moved around the facility.
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Needs, have you been able to get any clarity on what kind of POA you have?

The kind my brother had for mom DID not require any incapacity. It allowed by brother access to her financials and to act at her diection. If your mom wants to go to AL, you ought to be able to access HER money to get her in to one.

Your dad can do as he pleases.
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The IL so what’s the contract terms?
Like Is there a forfiture of $$ beyond a 30 day Notice / 30 days rent due?

And is the IL a solo free standing IL only?
OR part of a “tiered” community so has a supposed path from IL to AL to NH but each with its own admissions contract & deposit $$ paid in 1 flows over.
OR a CCRC so your folks have paid a huge an entry fee (like 6 figures each) to supposedly enable them to live there forever?

If it’s free standing, you need to find a way to get this voided and $$ returned. You need a elder law atty who does litigation.

If it’s a tiered or CCRC, then the facility has to moved them into wherever the needs assessment shows their care plan can be done.

If your dpoa the IL kinda has to give you a copy of the contract.
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Needsadvice, when my Dad was ready to move into Independent Living, he needed to be evaluated to make sure he could take care of himself. The facility did offer options that Dad did sign up for. Dad was a fall risk, thus he was tumbling out of his chair on a regular basis and forgetting to use his walker, but that was no problem for the facility. He was given a medical pendent to wear.

Then later down the road Dad was re-evaluated and it was decided he need to move into their Assisted Living/Memory Care.

I don't remembering my Dad signing up for an one-year Lease. Anything could happen in one year. I believe the Lease was month-to-month but the rent remained the same for one year. If Dad decided to move out, he would need to give 30 days notice.
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Your DAD may not want AL; what does your MOM want?

Can you get your mom what she says she wants?
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